Søren E. Nielsen named new president of Mobile Industrial Robots

The Robot Report
MiR100
MiR100 delivering goods at Zealand University Hospital in Denmark. Source: MiR

ODENSE, Denmark — Mobile Industrial Robots A/S has announced that Søren E. Nielsen will replace CEO Thomas Visti Jensen as its president as of Aug. 1, 2020. Visti plans to pursue new career paths, said the company. Since January 2018, Nielsen has been the chief technology officer of MiR.

Nielsen’s familiarity with MiR will enable him to maintain business continuity, said Mark Jagiela, CEO of Teradyne Inc., which owns the autonomous mobile robot (AMR) provider.

“Søren E. Nielsen is an excellent leader who will ensure continuity of our strategy and continued business momentum,” he said. “MiR is a still a young company, with tremendous opportunity for transforming the way the world works by optimizing logistics at thousands of companies worldwide.”

This is the second executive change among the Danish robotics companies owned by North Reading, Mass.-based Teradyne. Last year, Esben Østergaard, co-founder and CEO of Universal Robots A/S, stepped down. The collaborative robotics pioneer has since created accelerator REInvest Robotics.

MiR continues growth during pandemic

Søren E. Nielsen, MiR

Nielsen is a mechanical engineer and received management training at McKinsey & Co. He has 25 years of experience in managerial positions at international corporations such as Danfoss and Siemens.

Nielsen said that he is ready to take on the challenges of leading MiR during a period of extensive unpredictability on global markets because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite the current situation, MiR continues to grow in 2020,” he said. “We have not put on the brakes – which makes us relatively stronger than other industry operators. Our flexible robots help global industries such as health care, manufacturing and logistics make up for lost revenue by increasing productivity and efficiency. We also improve work environments at customer companies by relieving staff from manual transportation tasks.”

“During the corona pandemic, our rate of hiring has gone down,” said Nielsen, who was the 50th employee when he joined the company, which now has 220 staffers. “However, until then, our staff rate has grown exponentially since the foundation of the company. This means that we have been able to consolidate our organization and optimize production processes in numerous ways.”

MiR and Universal Robots opened a $36 million “robot hub” in February, and MiR’s robots have helped transport hospital supplies during the pandemic.

Nielsen brings different managerial style to MiR

Visti helped raise MiR’s visibility in Denmark and worldwide in a short time, but Nielsen said his personal style is different.

“It is ‘Mister MiR’ who is stepping down,” he said. “I have some very big shoes to fill. Thomas Visti has been extremely skilled at branding MiR on a global scale – which means that we have had far more media exposure than could be expected for a company our size. I’m not that kind of person; however, I will do my very best.”

Visti expressed confidence in his successor. “When Søren was brought on board, we needed a leader with international industry experience,” he said. “He has made a very significant contribution to the optimization of processes and procedures, and I am very happy to hand over the reins to him.”

Visti has worked at MiR since 2014, and Teradyne acquired the company in 2018. In that time, MiR said it has grown from three people to a leader in the global AMR market.

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Source: therobotreport

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