Blue Origin, the aerospace company founded by Jeff Bezos, is set to replace CEO Bob Smith with Dave Limp, an outgoing executive from Amazon. Smith will retire on December 4th but will remain with the company until January 2nd to oversee the transition. Limp’s appointment comes at a critical juncture for Blue Origin, as the company aims to increase production of its BE-4 rocket engines, resume flights of its space tourism rocket New Shepard, and launch its next-generation New Glenn rocket. Additionally, Blue Origin recently won a NASA contract for a crewed lunar lander project.
Limp brings with him extensive experience in the high-tech industry and growing complex organizations. He was a senior vice president of devices and services at Amazon, overseeing units such as Alexa, Echo, and Ring, as well as experimental divisions like Zoox autonomous vehicles and Project Kuiper internet satellite business. Limp worked closely with Bezos during the development of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant and Echo smart speakers. His departure from Amazon came as a surprise, as he had spent over 13 years at the company and was a member of the S-Team, a group of top executives across Amazon’s various businesses.
Blue Origin praised Limp as a “proven innovator with a customer-first mindset” and expressed confidence in his ability to lead the company through its various projects. In an internal message to Blue Origin employees, Bezos recognized Smith’s significant contributions to the company’s growth and transformation during his tenure. Under Smith’s leadership, Blue Origin experienced substantial sales growth, expanded its team, and made progress in its mission to enable space travel.
With Limp’s appointment, Blue Origin aims to continue its commitment to customer satisfaction, production schedules, and operational excellence. The company looks forward to reaching significant milestones in the near future, including the launch of the New Glenn rocket and the execution of its NASA contract for a crewed lunar lander.
As for Amazon, the company has not yet announced a replacement for Limp, but it is reportedly considering hiring Microsoft product chief Panos Panay for the position. The departure of Limp, who played a crucial role in the development of Amazon’s devices and services division, marks a significant change for the company. However, Amazon is known for its ability to attract top talent and is likely to find a suitable replacement to continue driving innovation and growth in the tech industry.