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James Lawton

Vice President and General Manager Robotics Automation

Zebra Technologies

Country or State

United States


I am an Operating Executive with experience leading growth and turnarounds at enterprise software, content and technology companies. My career includes a proven track record of driving sales growth and profitability; skills in building high-performing teams that deliver results and a keen ability to quickly commercialize technology-driven innovations to solve critical business challenges. Currently I am Vice President and General Manager Robotics Automation at Zebra Technologies. My charter: cultivate a team that identifies, designs, develops and delivers breakthrough innovation, and builds awareness and adoption among the company’s target markets. I joined Zebra Technologies in large part because I see an immense opportunity to bring the power of software and analytics into the automation equation—to advance our customers’ ability to innovate, fuel the future of supply chain and change the way the world views robots. Prior to Zebra, I focused Universal Robots, the market leader in smart, collaborative robotics, on the opportunity for manufacturers to harness advanced automation to transform their manufacturing and distribution operations. Prior to UR, I helped build Rethink Robotics through multiple rounds of venture funding and created the category of collaborative robotics with breakthrough products and a vision to democratize advanced robotics technologies. At Dun & Bradstreet, I led the company’s strategic move to integrate D&B’s data and analytics with solutions from companies like Microsoft, SAP, Oracle and I hold degrees in electrical engineering and computer science (BS EE) from Tufts University and MIT (SM EECS); and an SM Management (Sloan's MBA) from the MIT’s Sloan School of Management. FUNCTIONAL EXPERIENCE: General Management | P&L Management | Product Management | Product Marketing | Product Development | Business Development | Marketing | Sales Management | Manufacturing | Supply Chain | Operations INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE: Enterprise Software | Data and Analytics | Robotics | Artificial Intelligence (AI) | High Tech | Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) | Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) | B2B

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Current Position

Vice President and General Manager Robotics Automation at Zebra Technologies


Master of Science, Management (SM Management), Sloan's MBA equivalent

Past Talks

Automate 2022