Blue Origin, the aerospace company founded by Jeff Bezos, is undergoing a leadership change as CEO Bob Smith is set to retire. Smith’s departure will take effect on December 4, and he will remain with the company until January 2 to facilitate the transition. Dave Limp, an outgoing executive from Amazon, will succeed Smith as the CEO of Blue Origin.
Limp joins Blue Origin at a critical juncture as the company is involved in several space projects, including increasing the production of its BE-4 rocket engines, resuming flights of its space tourism rocket New Shepard, launching its next-generation New Glenn rocket, and fulfilling a NASA contract for a crewed lunar lander.
A spokesperson for Blue Origin praised Limp as a “proven innovator with a customer-first mindset” with extensive experience in the high-tech industry and complex organizations.
Dave Limp, who previously oversaw Amazon’s Alexa, Echo, and Ring units, as well as projects like Zoox autonomous vehicles and the Project Kuiper internet satellite business, announced his departure from Amazon last month. He spent more than 13 years at Amazon and was a key member of the company’s executive team.
Bob Smith has been leading Blue Origin since 2017, overseeing significant infrastructure development and the launch of high-profile missions, including Jeff Bezos’ flight to the edge of space aboard the New Shepard rocket. However, the company also faced delays and setbacks in its major programs, including the New Glenn rocket and BE-4 engines, as well as allegations of a toxic and sexist workplace.
This leadership change comes as Blue Origin continues to compete in the rapidly evolving commercial space industry, with companies like SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, as one of its primary competitors.
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