Edward L. Kaplan, '71, New Venture Challenge (NVC)

Edward L. Kaplan, '71, New Venture Challenge (NVC)

About Edward L. Kaplan

Edward L. Kaplan, MBA ’71, is chairman emeritus and cofounder of Zebra Technologies Corp. In 1969, he and partner Gerhard Cless founded the company, then known as Data Specialties. Ed served as CEO and chairman of the board from 1969 to 2007. Under his guidance, the company became the leading provider of on-demand thermal barcode label and receipt printers and supplies, plastic card printers, RFID smart label printer/encoders, certified smart labels, and digital photo printers. Zebra became a public company in 1991 and trades under the symbol ZBRA on the NASDAQ. Ed began his career as a project engineer for Seeburg Corp. He later joined Teletype Corp. as a mechanical engineer in the printer division, where he was responsible for performing research and development. In 1988, he was awarded the High Tech Entrepreneur Award sponsored by Peat Marwick. Two years later, he received the Inc. Magazine/ Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In 1996, he received the Chicago Booth Distinguished Entrepreneurial Alumnus Award. He also was inducted into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, sponsored by William Blair and Co., LaSalle Bank, Lord, Bissell & Brook, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ed is a member of the Chicago Booth Advisory Board and the Polsky Council. He is the vice chairman of the board of trustees at the Illinois Institute of Technology and a trustee of the Griffin Museum of Science and Industry. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society for the Advancement of Management, the Engineering Honorary Tau Beta Pi, World President’s Organization, and Chief Executives Organization. He received a BS in mechanical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and an MBA from Chicago Booth. He is also an NDEA Fellow from Northwestern University.

A global leader respected for innovation and reliability, Zebra Technologies Corporation offers technologies that give a virtual voice to an organization’s assets, people, and transactions, enabling organizations to unlock greater business value. The company’s extensive profile of marking and printing technologies, including RFID and real-time location solutions, illuminates mission-critical information to help customers take smarter business actions. Headquartered in Lincolnshire, Illinois, Zebra has more than 2,100 employees in offices around the globe serving customers in more than 100 countries. As part of its industry-leading, award-winning channel program, Zebra works with a diverse network of worldwide partners—including value-added resellers, distributors, independent software vendors, strategic alliances, and online technology suppliers. Throughout its history, Zebra has built a reputation for consistently delighting its customers by providing products and solutions that are highly regarded for durability, reliability, and innovation.

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