Canadian Manufacturing

SME appoints Robert Willig as new CEO

Willig has more than 30 years’ experience in the manufacturing industry, and has held multiple leadership positions for global divisions within major manufacturing companies.

January 7, 2021  by CM Staff

Robert Willig has been named as SME executive director and CEO effective January 1, 2021.


SOUTHFIELD — SME, the professional association committed to advancing manufacturing and developing a skilled workforce, announced that Robert “Bob” Willig has been named as its executive director and CEO as of Jan. 1.

Willig, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the manufacturing industry, and has held multiple leadership positions for global divisions within major manufacturing companies.

Most recently, Robert Willig was at Stoneridge Inc., where he was president of the control devices division. Prior to that, Willig served as president and CEO of Plasan Carbon Composites; before that he was president, Americas, for GKN Driveline, an automotive industry supplier focused on drive system technologies.

Willig was also president of both power transmission and powertrain at The Gates Corp. He has also served on various boards, including Plasan’s board of directors, GKN’s chief executive council and Gates Corp. Asia’s board of directors.

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“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 and who had previously served as SME president in 2017. Bouckley will remain with SME as a leadership transition consultant through March 31.

SME operates a Canadian office in Markham, Ont., though Willig will be based at SME’s headquarters in Southfield, Michigan.


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