documents. He applied for a job and was immediately hired after obtaining an exceptional score on a written physics test and a promise from the firm’s president that he would not work on military projects.
Bob quickly had a large impact on the company by coming up with three patentable ideas within his first year. His early inventions in electrophotography had a profound influence in enabling the firm to generate a new revenue stream through the leasing of equipment to produce masters for offset printing machines. When Chester Carlson, inventor of electrophotography, saw one of Bob’s early inventions, he was compelled to remark, “Bob, you are an inventor!” This positive reinforcing statement from Carlson had a profound motivating effect on Bob. In Bob’s lifetime he received 163 patents.
Rapid growth in the new electrophotographic business of the Haloid Company led to its ultimate transformation into the Xerox Corporation. The success of electrophotography was propelled by the introduction of automatic copiers, as exemplified by the Xerox 914 brought to market in 1959. Bob contributed many technological advances required for higher speed electrophotographic copying and printing, for not only black-and-white but also color printers. Perhaps Bob’s most novel patent disclosed a process for producing black and colored prints in a single-pass printer that was introduced to the market in 1991.
Beyond Bob’s many technical contributions to the Xerox Corporation, he played a central role in a number of patent litigation lawsuits. The combination of his broad knowledge of electrophotographic technology and his excellent communication skills proved to be effective in obtaining favorable verdicts for Xerox.
Bob’s passion was to solve technical problems through laboratory experiments. As such, he was not interested in pursuing a managerial career. Due to Bob’s many technical achievements over the years, Xerox’s management decided to institute a dual-ladder promotion system, whereby the significant achievements of individual contributors could be