Author Topic: Blue Origin new execs - Bob Smith, Brent Sherwood etc retiring late 2023  (Read 28342 times)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1706400120537796742

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Two sources say that Bob Smith will 'retire' as chief executive of Blue Origin effective in December.

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1706401128772932017

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In Smith's retirement note, he says, "Jeff will announce Blue's new CEO in a separate note shortly."

Edit to add:

https://twitter.com/joroulette/status/1706405938968547783

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Hearing the same, per three sources - Bob Smith will step down as CEO at the end of the year.
« Last Edit: 10/20/2023 07:07 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/wapodavenport/status/1706403619061338511

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In an email to staff, he said, "Jeff and I have been discussing my plan for months and Jeff will announce Blue's new CEO in a separate note shortly." Says he'll step down Dec. 4  and stay on til Jan. 2.

Will be interesting to see who Jeff appoints. Key moment for the future trajectory of the company.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1706409134164168817

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Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith is leaving the company at the end of this year, according to a note obtained by CNBC.

Former Amazon SVP Dave Limp will replace Smith as the head of Jeff Bezos’ space company. With @MorganLBrennan:

https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/25/blue-origin-ceo-bob-smith-out-replaced-by-former-amazon-exec-dave-limp.html

Quote from: Jeff Bezos
I’m excited to share that Dave Limp will join Blue starting December 4th as CEO, replacing Bob, who has elected to step aside on January 2. The overlap is purposeful to ensure a smooth transition.

Before I provide some background on Dave, I’d like to take the time to recognize Bob and the significant growth and transformation we’ve experienced during his tenure. Under Bob’s leadership, Blue has grown to several billion dollars in sales orders, with a substantial backlog for our vehicles and engines. Our team has increased from 850 people when Bob joined to more than 10,000 today. We’ve expanded from one office in Kent to building a launch pad at LC-36 and five million square feet of facilities across seven states.

Our mission has grown too – we’ve flown 31 people above the Kármán Line, almost five percent of all the people who have been to space. Flight-qualified BE-4 engines are ready to boost Vulcan into orbit. New Glenn is nearing launch next year, and, with our recent NASA contract, we will land Americans back on the Moon, this time to stay. We have also engaged and inspired millions of children and educators through our Club for the Future efforts. We’ve made tremendous progress in building a road to space for the benefit of Earth, thanks to each of you and Bob’s leadership.

I’ve worked closely with Dave for many years. He is the right leader at the right time for Blue. Dave joins us after almost 14 years at Amazon, where he most recently served as senior vice president of Amazon Devices and Services, leading Kuiper, Kindle, Alexa, Zoox, and many other businesses. Before Amazon, Dave had roles at other high-tech companies, including Palm and Apple. Dave is a proven innovator with a customer-first mindset and extensive experience leading and scaling large, complex organizations. Dave has an outstanding sense of urgency, brings energy to everything, and helps teams move very fast.

Please join me in welcoming Dave and thanking Bob. Through this transition, I know we’ll remain focused on our customer commitments, production schedules, and executing with speed and operational excellence. I look forward to the many exciting and historic milestones ahead of us!

Jeff
« Last Edit: 09/25/2023 08:51 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline Cheapchips

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Quote from: Jeff Bezos
Dave has an outstanding sense of urgency, brings energy to everything, and helps teams move very fast.
I really hope so!
« Last Edit: 09/26/2023 07:23 am by zubenelgenubi »

Offline Mondagun

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Quote from: Jeff Bezos
Dave has an outstanding sense of urgency, brings energy to everything, and helps teams move very fast.
I really hope so!
Question: what concrete steps can a CEO take to help "move teams very fast" (without unacceptable loss of product quality)?
« Last Edit: 09/26/2023 07:24 am by zubenelgenubi »

Offline MaxTeranous

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Quote from: Jeff Bezos
Dave has an outstanding sense of urgency, brings energy to everything, and helps teams move very fast.
I really hope so!
Question: what concrete steps can a CEO take to help "move teams very fast" (without unacceptable loss of product quality)?

Doing the opposite of whatever Bob Smith was doing would probably do the trick.
« Last Edit: 09/26/2023 07:25 am by zubenelgenubi »

Offline Rocket Rancher

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Get your design team back in the office to improve communication, reduce the time lag in decision making. Having a team together in the same space creates that special chemistry that no Teams meeting can create. It's old fashion teamwork.

Offline Coastal Ron

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… but no experience in aerospace .

Not necessarily a bad thing, and as we saw with retiring Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith, having industry experience doesn't guarantee success.

Blue Origin needs a leader that will get the company onto a quicker pace of innovation and accomplishment - we'll have to see if Dave Limp is that person.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Robotbeat

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… but no experience in aerospace .

Not necessarily a bad thing, and as we saw with retiring Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith, having industry experience doesn't guarantee success.

Blue Origin needs a leader that will get the company onto a quicker pace of innovation and accomplishment - we'll have to see if Dave Limp is that person.
additionally, he does have experience with Kuiper.

And I agree. I’d rather have someone with little aerospace experience (but at least some previous hardware project management experience) than someone with the wrong aerospace industry experience. Much of traditional aerospace has had such terrible incentive structures (see: Boeing) that being steeped in that culture would be a net negative.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline cpushack

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Online Yellowstone10

The jokes basically write themselves.

I also couldn't help but note:

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Under Bob’s leadership, Blue has grown to several billion dollars in sales orders, with a substantial backlog for our vehicles and engines.

Yes, if you only take orders and don't actually fly missions, that does tend to grow your backlog...

Offline M.E.T.

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Is Jeff Bezos going to sleep on the assembly line and move his primary residence to a 2-bedroom house at the launch facility?

If so, then great, they have a reasonable shot at matching the required sense of urgency.



« Last Edit: 09/26/2023 02:07 am by M.E.T. »

Offline Tomness

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Is Jeff Bezos going to sleep on the assembly line and move his primary residence to a 2-bedroom house at the launch facility?

If so, then great, they have a reasonable shot at matching the required sense of urgency.
That's not Jeff's job,  that's now Dave's Job.

Offline Asteroza

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Is Jeff Bezos going to sleep on the assembly line and move his primary residence to a 2-bedroom house at the launch facility?

If so, then great, they have a reasonable shot at matching the required sense of urgency.

I dunno, if Jeff's movers are as fast as the rest of Blue Origin, Elon's not gonna need to buy housewarming presents for a while.

I could make a joke about less gradually fiercely and more fiercely gradual, but then I'd be a 3D printer...


But seriously, Bezos isn't CEO of Amazon anymore. Why isn't he taking the reigns? It's not like he would have trouble getting a security clearance.

Offline M.E.T.

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Is Jeff Bezos going to sleep on the assembly line and move his primary residence to a 2-bedroom house at the launch facility?

If so, then great, they have a reasonable shot at matching the required sense of urgency.
That's not Jeff's job,  that's now Dave's Job.

My cursory google research reveals that at the companies that collectively launch 80% of payload mass to orbit, the CEO and majority owner tend to be the same person.

Interestingly, this pattern is also evident at the companies that operate more than half of all operational satellites.

Seems like a growing trend.
« Last Edit: 09/26/2023 03:52 am by M.E.T. »

Offline dglow

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Berger’s writeup on Ars Technica includes two perfect subheadings:

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Not great, Bob
and

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Alexa, put something into orbit

Offline meekGee

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Quote from: Jeff Bezos
Dave has an outstanding sense of urgency, brings energy to everything, and helps teams move very fast.
I really hope so!
Question: what concrete steps can a CEO take to help "move teams very fast" (without unacceptable loss of product quality)?
It really depends on whether there's a company-wide cultural problem, or just some bad decisions that need to be corrected (including hiring decisions).

The obvious example: Musk and the first iteration of Starlink.

Generally speaking though, cultural problems are notoriously difficult if not impossible to solve.

As a manager, whenever you force a decision, the problem becomes yours. Musk seems to have an infinite capacity for taking on problems, and I'm not talking about his personal life.

I don't think Jeff does. He's obviously super capable, but when it came to aerospace, he decided to delegate and let chips fall where they may. Amazon 20 years ago was his baby. BO is not getting the same kind of love.
« Last Edit: 09/27/2023 02:36 pm by meekGee »
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline deltaV

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https://www.crunchbase.com/person/david-limp says
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David has B.S. degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics from Vanderbilt University and a M.S. degree in Management from Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.

His degrees in CS, Math and Management are all likely to be useful as a Blue CEO. The one major thing that's missing is understanding the physical world, but with his math background and the basic physics classes he presumably took at some point he'll probably do OK learning physics and engineering on the job. In summary I find his education acceptable.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Berger’s writeup on Ars Technica includes two perfect subheadings:

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Not great, Bob
and

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Alexa, put something into orbit

I think the key quote from the article is:

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As a space reporter, I have spoken with dozens of current and former Blue Origin employees, and virtually none of them have had anything positive to say about Smith's tenure as chief executive. I asked one current employee about the hiring of Limp on Monday afternoon, and their response was, "Anything is better than Bob."

Online zubenelgenubi

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Moderator:
I split/merged a few humor-only posts here: Launch, Land, and Relaunch Party Thread.
« Last Edit: 09/26/2023 11:25 am by zubenelgenubi »
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