SME Hires Robert Willig as Executive Director and CEO

Robert “Bob” Willig will serve as SME’s Executive Director and CEO starting Jan. 1, 2021, working from SME’s headquarters in Southfield, Michigan.


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A photo of Robert "Bob" Willig, SME's executive director and CEO starting Jan. 1.

SME, a professional manufacturing association committed to advancing manufacturing and developing a skilled workforce, announced that Robert “Bob” Willig will be its next executive director and CEO, starting Jan. 1.

Willig has extensive experience leading teams across multiple cultures, languages, locations and disciplines, a versatility that interested SME.

“Bob’s extensive experience and insights into the manufacturing industry make him an ideal leader for SME during this time of disruptive change in manufacturing,” says 2020 SME president Susan Smyth. “Bob’s ability to focus on long-term strategy even during a challenging economy, his track record of business development success and his values-based leadership will help SME pursue its mission of advancing manufacturing while building a culture for continued success. We're very excited to have him as our new CEO.”

Willig will succeed Sandra Bouckley, who was appointed SME’s executive director and CEO in July 2018. Bouckley, whose exit was long intended, will remain with SME as a leadership transition consultant through March 31.

“I’m passionate about manufacturing and its people,” says Willig. “For nearly 90 years, SME has been a consistent resource for knowledge, connections and supporting the next generation of manufacturing talent. I’m looking forward to working to protect that legacy while charting a new course for this organization as our industry adapts to advanced technology and a post-COVID economy.”

Willig will work from SME’s headquarters in Southfield, Michigan.