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EPCglobal Chief Resigns

After less than four months on the job, Margaret Fitzgerald has resigned as the president of EPCglobal.
By Bob Violino
Tags: Standards
Apr 14, 2004EPCglobal, a joint venture between EAN International and the Uniform Code Council, has revealed that Margaret Fitzgerald has decided to step down as president of EPCglobal "for compelling personal reasons." Mike Di Yeso, the chief operating officer president of the Uniform Code Council, will be the acting president until a replacement can be found.
Margaret Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald's resignation comes at a difficult time for the fledgling organization. EPCglobal, which is based in Boston, has made strides in getting major RFID vendors to sign an intellectual property agreement that paves the way for the technology to be adopted without a great deal of legal wrangling (see Intermec Inks EPCglobal's IP Accord).

EPCglobal has also made steady progress in building up regional chapters around the world and in signing up new subscribers to use Electronic Product Codes (EPCs). But the organization is facing critical challenges. It needs to develop a specification for second-generation UHF tags and readers so that vendors can produce products that will work in the UHF spectrum around the world.

Another critical issue is working out an effective numbering scheme. Originally, the Auto-ID Center envisioned that all companies, regardless of the industry they were in, would use a single EPC numbering scheme. But the U.S. Department of Defense would like to see its Unique ID numbering system accepted as one of the EPC standards. Other industries are also looking to use their own numbering systems so that companies working in those industries will not have to invest a lot of money to change their software systems.

EPCglobal's hardware and software action groups will continue to meet, and their work is unlikely to be disrupted by Fitzgerald's departure. Jack Grasso, a spokesman for EPCglobal, points out that Di Yeso was the acting president of EPCglobal from its creation in September until Fitzgerald arrived from New Zealand to take up her post in January.

"Mike was intimately involved with the organization while Margaret was getting up to speed over the past few months," Grasso says. "So I don't think her departure will lead to any disruption or loss of momentum."

EPCglobal says plans are in place to name a successor, but no time frame was given.

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