Blue Origin, the spaceflight company founded by Jeff Bezos, is undergoing a leadership change as current CEO Bob Smith steps down. He will be replaced by Dave Limp, a veteran executive from Amazon.com. Limp, who has been instrumental in leading Amazon’s devices and services business, will take over on December 4th. Smith’s tenure at Blue Origin has seen growth in the company’s workforce and the accumulation of a $10 billion backlog, but it has also faced setbacks and criticism over its space products. Despite losing out on a NASA contract to SpaceX in 2021, Blue Origin eventually secured a $3.4 billion contract and remains a significant player in NASA’s lunar missions.
As head of Amazon’s devices and services business, Limp has been responsible for the development of popular products like the Alexa voice assistant and Echo smart speakers. His appointment as CEO of Blue Origin comes as he plans to retire from Amazon by the end of the year. Limp’s experience and leadership at Amazon make him a strategic choice to lead Blue Origin and tackle the challenges the company faces. Meanwhile, Smith’s departure from Blue Origin marks the end of his six-year tenure, during which the company has grown its workforce and dealt with setbacks and criticism. The transition is expected to be smooth, with Smith remaining until January 2nd to ensure a seamless handover.
Despite its recent setbacks, Blue Origin remains a key player in the space industry, with its New Shepard spacecraft and upcoming New Glenn rocket. The company faced a setback in 2021 when it lost a NASA contract to SpaceX, resulting in a legal battle. However, Blue Origin eventually secured a follow-on contract worth $3.4 billion, cementing its role in NASA’s lunar missions. Additionally, Blue Origin has faced criticism over its work environment and culture, with allegations of toxic behavior and sexism from former and current employees. Despite these challenges, the company continues to work on improving its products and has plans for upgrades and launches in the near future.