BOSTON, MA, December 20, 2021 – Alert Innovation, a leader in grocery automation and micro fulfillment systems, announces today a transition in leadership roles as the company begins to scale deployments of its technology. Founder John Lert will become Executive Chairman and hand the CEO reins to Fritz Morgan, who has been serving as COO.
“I had this transition in mind when I asked Fritz to help me lead Alert,” said Lert. “I recognized during our very first meeting that he has the intellectual capacity, the leadership skills, experience in leading disruptive technology-product companies to scale, and most importantly the alignment with our core values to become my successor in leading the organization.”
Lert added, “Since joining 18 months ago, Fritz has confirmed those expectations, greatly strengthened leadership across all teams and playing an essential role in elevating the performance of the company. At this stage in Alert’s growth, and with the market opportunity in front of us, he is simply the most qualified person to lead this extraordinary company.”
Morgan received a BS in Physics from Clark University and a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon in Electrical & Computer Engineering with a focus in Robotics. In the 1990’s, he made key contributions both technically and as an executive leader at Color Kinetics, the company that sparked the shift to LEDs that has transformed the $100 billion-dollar global lighting industry, helping to lead that company in scaling globally and going public. Prior to joining Alert Innovation, Morgan served as Executive Vice President/CTO at DEKA Research and Development, where he led a team of 800 engineers developing and commercializing cutting-edge technology projects encompassing a vast array of engineering and scientific disciplines.
“Alert has a tremendous opportunity to transform the retail grocery industry and I am eager to continue partnering with John and the entire team to develop the technology roadmap and organization necessary to scale our business,” said Morgan.
As Executive Chairman, Lert will lead the Board of Directors in the governance of Alert Innovation and devote much of his time to invention and product innovation. Lert will also continue to engage publicly as a visionary thought leader in the transformation of food retailing using automation technology.
Nearly three decades ago, Lert began thinking about a new kind of supermarket that would feature a fully automated packaged-goods market to replace the self-service center store, combined with an optional, checkout-free, self-service fresh market. That vision, which he named Novastore, led him into automated materials-handling technology, and he became an early pioneer in the use of free-roaming mobile robots to automate order-fulfillment. Lert founded Symbotic in 2007 in partnership with Rick Cohen and C&S Wholesale Grocers to develop his invention of a robotic case-picking technology, and he served as its first CEO. Lert went on to found Alert Innovation and, with Co-Founder and co-inventor Bill Fosnight, invented in 2015 a new robotic technology they named Alphabot. In 2016, Alert Innovation partnered with Walmart to bring Alphabot technology to market and has grown under Lert’s leadership to become the 350-person company it is today.
“I couldn’t be prouder of Team Alert, and I feel privileged to continue to work as part of this group,” said Lert. “I look forward to continuing to devote my talents and energy to helping Fritz and the team achieve our vision.”
About Alert Innovation, Inc:
Alert Innovation® is a thought leader in Retail and Grocery automation, driving innovation that improves lives by transforming how retailers operate and people shop. Alert Innovation is an industry leader in robotic e-grocery fulfillment. The Alphabot® system, designed by the Alert Innovation team is a unique automated fulfillment solution that utilizes patented omnidirectional robots in a temperature-controlled system for fresh, efficient, and high-quality grocery fulfillment. Alert Innovation also designed Novastore™, a store concept utilizing the Alphabot system, delivering a dynamic and efficient shopping experience. For more information about Alert Innovation visit www.alertinnovation.com.
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