MIT and Johnson & Johnson Representatives Elected to Lead GS1 EPCglobal Board

Brussels, Belgium – 8th March 2012 Sanjay Sarma, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor, and Mike Rose, Vice President of Supply Chain Visibility for Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems, Inc., have been elected chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the EPCglobal® Board of Governors. Their appointments were announced yesterday by GS1®, a not-for-profit organisation that designs and manages the global GS1 System of supply chain standards.

EPCglobal, an affiliate organisation of GS1, is driving the adoption of industry-driven standards that support the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for real-time, automatic identification of information in the supply chain. EPCglobal standards, including the Electronic Product Code® (EPC), are designed to increase visibility and efficiency throughout the supply chain, by ensuring a higher quality of information flow between companies and their key trading partners. 

 “Sanjay has been an integral part of EPC’s development since its inception, bringing his connection with the world-class innovation capacities at MIT, while Mike has been driving the adoption of EPC/RFID for many years and brings industry insights and expertise critical to providing visibility and efficiency to business processes”, said Paul Voordeckers, President, Industry Engagement & EPCglobal at GS1.

Dr Sarma is one of the original founders of the Auto-ID Center at MIT, which developed the original Electronic Product Code. In 2003 the Auto-ID Center evolved into two organisations: EPCglobal, charged with achieving worldwide adoption and standardization, and the Auto-ID Labs, charged with continued development of EPC technology. As professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, Sarma continues to lead the Auto-ID Lab at MIT, as well as serving on the GS1 US Board of Governors and being a permanent guest of the Management Board of GS1. 

Rose has served on the EPCglobal Board for seven years. With his 35 years of experience at Johnson & Johnson, he has provided EPCglobal with invaluable industry input and guidance. As Vice President of Supply Chain Visibility at Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems, Inc., he has been a key leader in the adoption of GS1 standards in the healthcare sector, driving the improvement of supply chain efficiency, traceability and patient safety. 

“EPCglobal standards and technologies have grown to be vital enablers of global supply chains across many industries,” said Mr. Rose.

Sarma replaces Dick Cantwell, Chairman of the GS1 EPCglobal Board of Governors for eight years and prior to that, Chairman of the Board of Overseers of the original Auto-ID Center since its foundation. Over 12 years, Cantwell, Vice President, Internet Business Solutions Group, at Cisco Systems, has helped lead the adoption of EPCglobal standards across industries, including the successful implementation of EPC/RFID within his own company, Cisco Systems.

"Billions of EPC tags are used worldwide today. Dick's leadership and vision have been driving forces in bringing the EPC to its current state," said Dr Sarma.  

About GS1
GS1 is a neutral, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the design and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve efficiency and visibility in supply chains. It engages a global community of companies and organisations to understand their business needs and, based on those needs, develops global standards. It is driven by 1.3 million companies, which execute more than six billion transactions daily in 150 countries with the GS1 System of Standards. GS1 has local member organisations in 111 countries. Its global office is in Brussels.

For more information
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Contact: Christine Cecil, Marketing Retail & EPCglobal -, +32 2 788 7820.,


Sanjay Sarma, Chairman EPCglobal

Sanjay Sarma is a professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and director of the MIT-Singapore University of Technology and Design Collaboration. Dr Sarma was one of the founders of the Auto-ID Center at MIT, which developed many of the technical concepts and standards of the Electronic Product Code (EPC). Sarma serves on the board of EPCglobal and GS1 US, and is a permanent guest of the Management Board of GS1.

Sarma received his Bachelors from the Indian Institute of Technology, his Masters from Carnegie Mellon University and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. In between degrees, Sarma worked at Schlumberger Oilfield Services in Aberdeen, UK. Sarma’s Master’s thesis was in the area of operations and his PhD was in automation.

His current research projects cover radio frequency identification, IC packaging, manufacturing, CAD/CAM, machine design, RFID applications, device networking, mobile capture and smart devices. He has over 75 publications in computational geometry, virtual reality, manufacturing, CAD, RFID, security and embedded computing. Between 2004 and 2006, Sarma took a leave of absence from MIT to found the software company OATSystems, which was acquired by Checkpoint Systems in 2008. Sarma serves on the boards of several companies.

Sarma is a recipient of the MIT MacVicar Fellowship, National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Cecil and Ida Green Career Development Chair at MIT, the Den Hartog Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Keenan Award for innovations in undergraduate education, the New England Business and Technology Award, and the MIT Global Indus Award. In 2003, he was selected in Business Week ebiz 25 and Fast Company Magazine's Fast Fifty.

Mike Rose, Vice Chair EPCglobal

Mike Rose is Vice President of Supply Chain Visibility at Johnson & Johnson.  His key responsibilities include product identification and traceability, RFID, GS1 standards adoption, eCommerce and supply chain technologies, and demand visibility.

Mike has worked for Johnson & Johnson for over 35 years, where he has held various positions of responsibility across Discovery Research, Information Management and Supply Chain.  Prior to his current assignment, he was the CIO and Vice President, Information Management, for Ortho Biotech.

Mike joined the EPCglobal Board of Governors in 2005, and is a past member of both the GS1 Healthcare US and GS1 Healthcare Global leadership teams.  He also served as a tri-chair of EPCglobal’s Healthcare and LifeSciences Business Action Group.

Mike works with various industry associations on product serialization, track & trace, traceability, pedigree and EPC/RFID related areas.  He is a member of PhRMA’s Supply Chain Security Workgroup and is a past co-chair of Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA)’s Industry Relations Council.

Dick Cantwell, Chairman EPCglobal 2003-2012

Dick Cantwell is Vice President and worldwide lead for the Retail / Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) / Transportation / Hospitality practice of the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG). Cantwell’s career includes P&L responsibility at two of the world’s leading consumer packaged goods companies: Procter & Gamble (P&G), Gillette and Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

As a global vice president, Cantwell directed involvement in RFID after co-founding the Auto-ID Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1999. Cantwell was elected chairman of the Auto-ID Center Board of Overseers in 2001. From 2003 until 2012, he served as Chairman of the Board of Governors for EPCglobal, the global industry standards organization responsible for developing EPC standards and driving EPC adoption.

Dick Cantwell is a highly strategic leader and creative thinker, with more than 26 years of experience in consumer marketing, advertising, new product development and leading business transformation through innovation. In 1995, he was recognized as one of the Top 100 Marketers of the Year. In 2003, he received the New England Business and Technology Association Award for Innovation, and in 2004, he appeared on Computerworld’s list of the Most Powerful People in Networking. In 2005, he was named one of the Top 25 Consumer Product Visionaries by Consumer Goods Technology for strides taken to better his company’s business through technology.

Cantwell is a graduate of Harvard University, and received his master’s degree in business administration from Dartmouth College.