Amazon executive to take over Jeff Bezos’ rocket company
Bezos’ space tourism and rocket company is replacing its chief executive officer with a longtime Amazon executive.
According to a Blue Origin spokesperson, Bob Smith, who took over the role as CEO in 2017, will step down and be replaced by Dave Limp, Amazon’s senior vice president of devices and services.
“Limp is a proven innovator with a customer-first mindset,” Blue Origin said in a statement. In addition to his expertise in the high-tech industry, he has also grown highly complex organizations like Amazon’s satellite business, Project Kuiper.
Blue Origin also noted that Smith has led the company’s transformation from an R&D-focused company to one with over 10,000 employees and over $10 billion in customer orders.
According to Blue Origin, Limp’s first day at the company will be December 4. According to the statement, Smith will stay on until January 2 “to ensure a smooth transition.”
It has worked for more than a decade to develop a suborbital rocket and spacecraft, named New Shepard, that can carry paying customers and scientific experiments into space. During the company’s first successful crewed spaceflight in 2021, Bezos was one of the passengers. Five additional people-carrying missions have been completed since New Shepard was launched.
Despite months of delays, Blue Origin struggled to deliver the BE-4 engines. The first launch of ULA’s BE-4-powered Vulcan Centaur rocket is expected this year, sending a NASA-backed spacecraft to the moon.
Blue Origin won a long-awaited contract for NASA’s moon exploration program – Artemis – in May, securing a $3.5 billion contract to develop a spacecraft capable of carrying astronauts to the moon.