After more than 17 years leading the company, Brian Hutton is retiring as president, Columbia/Okura LLC, effective August 18.
Hutton has served in his current role since June 2012. Prior to that, he had been general manager since joining the joint venture on January 1, 2006. Hutton has spent his entire 40-year professional career in various roles in the material handling and packaging equipment industries.
During Hutton’s tenure he has provided a leadership role in helping the company substantially grow its installed base of robotic palletizers. In the process, Hutton has championed establishing new strategic alliances with suppliers and channel partners.
“Under Brian’s leadership Columbia/Okura has grown significantly and is a clear market leader for robotic palletizing solutions in the Western Hemisphere,” said Rick Goode, CEO of Columbia Machine Inc. “Over the last 10 years Columbia/Okura has developed from a standalone palletizing solution provider to a large systems integrator, providing turnkey engineering and installation services for numerous multimillion dollar systems and integrated bagging lines. This transformation has been accomplished while retaining a very high customer net promoter score, all while generating record revenue and record profitability in recent years. Brian has been a great colleague, valuable member of our executive team, and a good friend to many of us.”
Columbia/Okura also announces the appointment of Fred Robinson to succeed Hutton. Robinson has served in numerous leadership roles in robotics and factory automation and brings a strong background in equipment manufacturing. He will take over day-to-day responsibilities as president on July 1, 2023.
“We are grateful for the many dedicated years of service and steady leadership Brian has provided to Columbia/Okura. We look forward to Fred continuing our growth for many years to come,” said Daisuke Okura, executive director of Okura Yusoki Company, Ltd.