Melonee Wise Joins Agility Robotics as CTO in Leadership Team Expansion
New Groundbreaking Roles of Chief Robot Officer and VP of Innovation Among Company Additions
CORVALLIS, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Agility Robotics today announced a significant expansion to the company’s leadership team.
Effective immediately, the following distinguished individuals are combining their expertise, experience, and passion to work on Digit, the first human-centric, multi-purpose robot made for work, starting with deployments in the logistics industry.
- Renuka Ayer, Chief Financial Officer (joined October 2022)
- Rich Bohne, Chief Commercial Officer (joined June 2022)
- Aindrea Campbell, Chief Operations Officer (joined January 2023)
- Liz Clinkenbeard, VP of Communications (joined December 2022)
- Pras Velegapudi, VP of Innovation and Distinguished Engineer (joined May 2023)
- Melonee Wise, Chief Technology Officer (joined May 2023)
An additional update to Agility’s leadership structure is the development of the new Chief Robot Officer (CRO) organization, to be led by co-founder Jonathan Hurst. Jonathan’s groundbreaking bipedal locomotion research is the basis on which Agility was created.
Jonathan’s passion has always been in research, innovation, and setting the vision for how Agility’s robots should look, move, function, and interact with the world. He has therefore transitioned his title from CTO to CRO, to more closely match with his day-to-day work: setting Agility’s research and development roadmap, cultivating the innovation pipeline, shepherding Digit’s industrial design, and nurturing the company’s overall brand identity. This change also allowed Agility to open a new CTO role focused on Digit, the broader software product, and fleet deployment technologies, ultimately paving the way for Melonee Wise to join.
Growing The Leadership Team with Accomplished Talent
“Agility has had a great deal of highlights recently, but perhaps the most significant is the strategic growth of our leadership team over the past year and the addition of game-changing expertise that will position Agility for long-term success,” according to Damion Shelton, CEO of Agility Robotics. “We’ve recently added a CCO, CFO, and COO, and created the exciting new CRO organization led by my co-founder Jonathan Hurst. Today, we’re thrilled to cap off this incredible year of leadership growth by welcoming industry luminary and well-known roboticist Melonee Wise to the team as our new CTO.”
Melonee Wise, Chief Technology Officer: The most recent addition to the Agility executive team, Melonee brings as much (or more) experience in building and deploying robot fleets than just about anyone on the planet. Among many other accomplishments, Melonee is the recipient of the 2022 Engelberger Robotics Award, the world’s most prestigious robotics honor. Prior to joining Agility, Melonee was Vice President and General Manager of Robotics Automation for Zebra Technologies. In 2021, Zebra acquired Fetch Robotics, which Melonee co-founded, and for whom she served as CEO from the company’s formation in 2015. As CEO of Fetch Robotics, Melonee moved the Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) market forward through her expertise in hardware and software. Melonee was also a driving force behind the first-ever safety certification for AMRs. Melonee will be a catalyst for Agility’s broader software and technology systems for deploying fleets of Digits in warehouses all over the country.
Pras Velegapudi, VP of Innovation and Distinguished Engineer: Agility’s new Innovation Department will be home to the company’s technology strategy and research & development efforts. Pras is uniquely qualified for this role, with decades of experience in robotics planning & control, creating and deploying robots into home, industrial, and outdoor environments around the world. He was most recently Chief Architect at Berkshire Grey, applying fleets of hundreds of robots in logistics applications. In a landscape that is constantly disrupted by new technology, Pras will be focused on pragmatic product-relevant innovations, driven by the vision and strategy for Digit.
Renuka Ayer, Chief Financial Officer: Renuka has a long and storied career in finance, M&A, and strategic leadership at public and private companies such as Glowforge, Pulse Electronics, Dover, and Ford to name a few. She also has a strong track record of taking companies from startup to growth stage and beyond. She instantly transformed Agility into a more robust and mature company, ensuring that the company makes the right financial decisions to secure a long and profitable future.
Rich Bohne, Chief Commercial Officer: Rich brings thirty years of sales, leadership, and commercial growth experience, most recently as Chief Revenue Officer at Fetch Robotics where he led the global sales team prior to the successful acquisition by Zebra Technologies. Rich is the champion of Agility’s commercial partnerships. With his expertise, Agility has already launched the Agility Partner Program and attracted multiple new Fortune 100 customers.
Aindrea Campbell, Chief Operations Officer: With more than twenty years as a senior operations leader at companies including Ford and Apple, Aindrea’s resume pretty much speaks for itself. Aindrea brings deep experience in transformation–including co-leading the transition from steel to aluminum on the F150 and rapidly scaling capacity as head of iPad operations during COVID. Aindrea brings an expert vision for product development and manufacturing. With Aindrea’s guidance, Agility will continue rapidly scaling its manufacturing and corporate operations to meet the large commercial demand for Digit.
Liz Clinkenbeard, VP of Communications: Liz owns Agility’s public image, storytelling, and brand. Liz is working closely with Jonathan Hurst to establish Digit’s persona and design, and to share Agility’s vision of enabling humans to be more human. Liz has a long and distinguished career in technology communications and marketing, leading communications at GitHub, managing some of the largest technology brands in the world during her tenure at The Outcast Agency, and most recently co-founding and successfully growing Chatterbug, an online language-learning startup. Liz has the creative vision and expertise to position Agility as one of the world’s most well-known, innovative, and respected robotics brands.
About Agility Robotics
Co-headquartered in Corvallis, Oregon and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with offices in Palo Alto, California, Agility Robotics’ mission is to build robot partners that augment the human workforce, ultimately enabling humans to be more human™. Agility’s groundbreaking bi-pedal robot Digit is the first multi-purpose, human-centric robot that is made for work™.
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