May 27, 2016

Locus Robotics names Faulk, IT veteran, as CEO

Warehouse automation pioneer and co-founder Welty remains chairman.

By Ben Ames

Warehouse automation vendor Locus Robotics Inc. named tech-industry veteran Rick Faulk as CEO on Wednesday, replacing co-founder Bruce Welty.

Welty will stay on as chairman, handling corporate and business development, while company co-founder Michael Johnson remains as president and COO, handling day-to-day operations.

Faulk was also named CEO of Locus' sister company, the Devens, Mass.-based e-commerce fulfillment business Quiet Logistics Inc. Quiet Logistics provides third-party fulfillment services for online apparel and lifestyle retailers such as Zara, Bonobos, and Bluefly. As with Locus, Welty had previously held the top position there and will now continue on as chairman.

Faulk joins the companies after leadership positions at online collaboration service Intranets.com, cloud services provider j2 Global Inc., and cloud backup and recovery service Intronis Inc.

The company did not respond to requests to provide more detailed comment.

In its early years, Quiet Logistics performed its fulfillment operations using warehouse robotic platforms from Kiva Systems LLC, based in North Reading, Mass. However, Amazon.com Inc. bought Kiva for $775 million in 2012, renamed it Amazon Robotics, and eventually ceased sales of Kiva's orange robots to outside companies.

As with other firms in the warehouse automation sector, Amazon's move left Quiet Logistics without a robotics supplier. The company foundedLocus to build its own e-commerce fulfillment system. Quiet Logistics is Locus Robotics' development partner and its largest customer.

In another development, Locus said it raised $8 million in additional funding from existing investors. Locus said it will use the capital to support increased production and sales of its multi-robot warehouse fulfillment system, launched in November 2015.

About the Author

Ben Ames
Senior Editor
Ben Ames has spent 20 years as a journalist since starting out as a daily newspaper reporter in Pennsylvania in 1995. From 1999 forward, he has focused on business and technology reporting for a number of trade journals, beginning when he joined Design News and Modern Materials Handling magazines. Ames is author of the trail guide "Hiking Massachusetts" and is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.

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