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Allied Vision CEO Frank Grube Passes Away at Age 53

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The visionary manager was a respected personality of the machine vision industry and turned a small German distributor into a world-leading camera manufacturer.

Frank Grube, Allied Vision’s President & CEO, suddenly passed away on April 14, 2018 while on weekend leave at his family home. "We are all shocked by this terrible loss," said Michael Cyros, Chief Commercial Officer of the company and a member of the Management Board. "Our thoughts are with his wife and his family. Frank was a passionate leader and all Allied Vision employees know how much the company owes its success to his entrepreneurial spirit." Alexander van der Lof, Chairman & CEO of Allied Vision’s parent company TKH Group, said: "It is with deep sorrow that we heard of Frank Grube’s death. Frank fought for his company and the people in the company. Together with his team at Allied Vision, he was on the right track to disrupt the vision industry."

A lifetime for vision

Frank Grube spent most of his career in the computer vision industry, pioneering the rise of machine vision in the 1990’s. He was appointed CEO of Manfred Sticksel CCD Kameratechnik in 2000 after the small German camera distributor was purchased by Augusta AG (now integrated into TKH Group). Grube swiftly conducted a strategic turnaround of the company and renamed it to Allied Vision Technologies in 2001. Anticipating the trend to digital interfaces in machine vision cameras, he transformed the company into a camera manufacturer, building up R&D and production. With its FireWire cameras, Allied Vision drove the digitization of machine vision camera interfaces and quickly became one of the leading machine vision camera manufacturers worldwide. Frank Grube grew the company into a truly global player with the acquisition of Canada-based Prosilica in 2008 and infrared and specialty camera manufacturer VDS Vosskühler in 2011. He also expanded the footprint of the company by opening sales and support offices in the United States (2006), Singapore (2010), and China (2012). He invested a large amount of his time and energy in further building up business in Asia and Embedded Vision, which he considered the key growth markets for Allied Vision.

Strong human values

Frank Grube was not only a first-class business man, he was also driven by strong values, which made him highly appreciated and respected not only within Allied Vision, but also in the whole industry. "Frank was a demanding leader, but he also cared a lot for his employees. He was very attentive to employees’ well-being and always cared to share success with his whole staff through company-funded parties, Christmas presents or extraordinary bonus payments," remembers Gerd Völpel, Chief Operations Officer. Generously giving back was an important value for Frank Grube. He wanted Allied Vision to share its success with communities it was located and donated every year to local charities supporting children and youngsters in need – something he didn’t want publicity coverage on. In 2014, when Allied Vision celebrated its 25th anniversary, he made an exception to this rule and included employees, customers and partners in a fundraising campaign for the benefit of Sightsavers, a charity performing eye surgery in developing countries.

Building on his legacy

"Frank’s spirit obliges us to perform and make a success out of what he has built," said Alexander van der Lof. While the succession process is already under way, Allied Vision’s Management Board remains fully committed and empowered to run the company’s operations, as Frank Grube had insured when he took medical leave in December 2017. "Frank’s vision, his ambition and his fighting spirit have been our inspiration for 18 years. They will be even more so in the future to make Allied Vision the leading company he wanted it to be," said Andreas Gerk, Chief Technology Officer.

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