Software veterans Scott Genereux and Brian Shepherd join Rockwell Automation in executive leadership roles

The importance of this move by Rockwell Automation cannot be overemphasized. Bringing in two “outsiders” at SVP level is unprecedented. I’ve observed the company and its culture since the mid-80s as a customer, student, distributor sales rep, and writer. I’ve seen people come and go and talked with most of the former executive staff. The few men who did not come up through the same process as everyone else simply did not last. The culture chewed them up.

There have been rumblings for some time that the PTC relationship was not going as well as planned. I wouldn’t have been surprised. Bringing in an SVP who is a former PTC executive reveals the seriousness of CEO Blake Moret’s intention of remaking Rockwell. Moret brought an immediate breath of fresh air to the organization upon his appointment. Bringing in two software senior executives is more than I would have hoped for. 

This is light-years from a former CEO’s comment to me about software being an “experiment.” Software is now serious business. And just in time. I don’t think Rockwell has missed the market. But the competitors have been building out strategies for a few years. If these executives are successful and can navigate the Rockwell maze, you’re seeing the re-birth of the company.

Rockwell Automation announced two key additions to its executive leadership team, naming Scott Genereux senior vice president and chief revenue officer and Brian Shepherd senior vice president, Software and Control, effective Feb. 1. Genereux and Shepherd will report to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Blake Moret.

Genereux will have global responsibility for total revenue performance and will oversee Rockwell’s global sales and marketing strategy and functions, with specific focus on increasing software sales and annual recurring revenue (ARR). Shepherd will lead the operating segment that includes control and visualization software and hardware, information software, and network and security infrastructure, which was created as of Oct. 1.

“Scott and Brian add great new perspectives and depth to their respective positions,” said Moret. “Scott has tremendous experience leading enterprise software and hardware global sales teams, and is perfectly suited to help us build executive relationships with customers as we play a larger role in their enterprise-wide digital transformation. Brian brings deep industrial software product management experience, and he understands the value of our partner ecosystem. As software continues to play a larger role in our future value, these two leaders will play a key role in executing Rockwell Automation’s strategy to accelerate profitable growth.”

Genereux joins Rockwell with more than two decades of sales and management leadership experience. Most recently, he served as executive vice president for Worldwide Field Operations and chief revenue officer for Veritas Technologies, a leading provider of cloud data management solutions. Prior to that, he led sales and strategy for Oracle Corporation’s cloud infrastructure business. Genereux’s career also includes senior sales and marketing positions with QLogic, Data Direct Networks, and Hitachi Data Systems.

“With an expanding portfolio of technologies that spans SaaS, cloud, machine learning, and data analytics innovations, Rockwell Automation is at the forefront of industrial digital transformation,” said Genereux. “Nobody is better positioned to help organizations transform their supply chains and modernize their business practices with sustainable technology breakthroughs. I am very excited about joining the Rockwell team as we grow the company across both emerging and established industries worldwide.”

Shepherd brings extensive experience in leading strategy definition and end-to-end development of software solutions for manufacturing companies. He most recently served as president, Production Software and Smart Factory, for Hexagon AB. Before that, he worked in a variety of senior leadership roles at PTC, including executive vice president and general manager of PTC’s Enterprise Software segments. He has strong technical expertise in design, simulation, manufacturing planning and execution, as well as process and quality data analytics.

“Rockwell Automation has assembled a tremendous portfolio of technologies and solutions to enable our customers to accomplish their digital transformation journeys,” said Shepherd. “I’m excited to join the company at this important inflection point in strategy and execution.”

The Software and Control operating segment was created in October and had been led on an interim basis by Chris Nardecchia. Nardecchia remains at the company in his ongoing role as senior vice president of Information Technology and chief information officer, reporting to Moret. The other two operating segments that were created in October remain unchanged. They are Lifecycle Services, led by senior vice president Frank Kulaszewicz, and Intelligent Devices, led by senior vice president Fran Wlodarczyk.

At the bottom of every press release is a blurb where the company describes itself. This is a new blurb. It’s interesting. This is along the lines of another company’s long-term statement of “solving big engineering challenges.” This vision statement sets forth an admirable goal—beyond just technology or products.

Rockwell Automation Inc.  is a global leader in industrial automation and digital transformation. We connect the imaginations of people with the potential of technology to expand what is humanly possible, making the world more productive and more sustainable. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Rockwell Automation employs approximately 23,500 problem solvers dedicated to our customers in more than 100 countries. 

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