Columbia/Okura president announces retirement

Brian Hutton leaving after 17 years at company

Columbia/Okura announces that after more than 17 years leading the company, Brian Hutton, president, has decided to retire, effective August 18, 2023. Hutton has served in his current role since June 2012, and prior to that, as 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 served as a champion for 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. 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”, said Rick Goode, CEO of Columbia Machine.

To provide ongoing continuity and executive leadership, Columbia/Okura is very pleased to announce 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. Robinson will take over day-to-day responsibilities as president of Columbia/Okura 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 Co.



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