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February 27, 2018

Bob Black To Step Down As JUKI CEO

Bob Black To Step Down As JUKI CEO
Bob Black, CEO, Juki Automation Systems, Inc.
Juki Automation Systems, Inc. of Morrisville, NC announced today that its CEO, Bob Black, will step down from that position March 31, 2018. Juki Automation (JAS) President, Bill Astle, will take up the responsibilities of President & CEO as of that date. Circuitnet's Ken Cavallaro caught up with Bob recently to discuss this development.

KC: Bob, how long have you been running Juki Automation Systems? BB: JAS, 20 years. If you go back to Zevatech days before we joined Juki it's been 35 years.

KC: Are you retiring completely? BB: As CEO yes. I will continue to work as a Senior Advisor for the next couple of years, mainly in sales, which has always been the favorite part of my job anyway. But it will be Bill's show to run, a ship can't have two captains.

KC: Juki has been one of the leading Placement companies for decades, but in the last 10 years you've added more products. What was your thinking in adding Printers, Ovens, Selective Soldering, Component Storage, making Juki a line company? BB: It's kind of come full circle. At the start of SMT we sold full lines, and held process classes for customers experiencing the technology for the first time. Then we went to the era where customers bought the best machine for each position, and thanks to the SMEMA standards, could have the machines work together in a line. Today, with Industry 4.0, customers want an integrated line with both hardware and software fully integrated. They want full material flow control and traceability, which is where the Component Storage Systems play a powerful role.

KC: What will you do with your free time, now that you're slowing down? BB: Stay Home! I've been a road warrior for 35 years. Play more golf! In fact next time you come west I'll invite you for a round!

KC: Final question Bob. Looking back, what are you most proud of in your career? BB: Being a co-founder of SMEMA (Surface Mount Equipment Manufacturer's Association) and then helping push the formation of this show, APEX, as a result of SMEMA merging with the IPC. Being given the trust of so many hundreds of customers who put their faith in Juki equipment. And finally, being able to work together with so many fine people at Juki for the last 35 years, my main motivation was to never let them down.

KC: Thanks Bob. BB: Thank you Ken, and congratulations on Circuitnet, I read it each morning.

Bob Black, CEO
Juki Automation Systems, Inc.