The OPC Foundation reported Oct. 31 that it's welcoming Stefan Hoppe as its next president and executive director. He will replace longtime OPC leader Tom Burke, who nominated Hoppe as his successor before resigning during the organization's last meeting.
Burke will remain as an officer on the foundation's board and will continue his widespread evangelism for OPC UA adoption across various domains. Hoppe takes over operational activities and responsibility for worldwide adoption of the OPC standards and the further development of the organization. Its OPC UA is a core standard in the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 movements.
Hoppe is a longstanding member of the control automation industry and the OPC Foundation. As an electrical engineer, he joined Beckhoff Automation in 1995 where he developed an OPC classic server, and in 2006, he built the world's first OPC UA server integrated into an embedded controller. In 2008, he initiated and chaired the PLCopen OPC UA Companion working group, which has produced results that have been adopted in process industries and discrete manufacturing by multiple international vendors. In 2010, Hoppe was elected president of OPC Foundation Europe. Since 2014, he's been vice president of the OPC Foundation and a member of the OPC board.
“It's truly an honor to be entrusted with the responsibility and exciting opportunity to lead this incredible global organization towards its full potential," says Hoppe. "While the OPC Foundation's roots come from industrial automation and will always be grounded there, I believe it's our duty to greatly widen our horizons in multiple directions—inside industrial automation but also in other new markets.
“The value of the open, secure, vendor independent data interoperability the OPC UA standard introduces is universal, and is as important to IoT applications across all markets as Ethernet was to connect computers and the Internet. My mission is to position and grow the OPC Foundation to work on this scale.”
Burke adds: “After an amazing 23 years, I've decided it is time to turn over the reins of the day-to-day operations as president and executive director of the OPC Foundation to the next generation. I believe Stefan is the right person for this job as he has clearly demonstrated his commitment and strong leadership on many occasions. I look forward to him advancing the OPC Foundation and its OPC UA technology.”
Hoppe concluded: “On behalf of the OPC Foundation, I sincerely thank Tom for the vision, leadership, and tireless evangelism he provided all these years. It was great to work with him for the last eight, and I appreciate his decision to continue his worldwide OPC UA evangelization and contribution of his deep valued insights and strategic advice.”