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Blue Origin boss steps down

September 26, 2023

By Chris Forrester

Bob Smith, CEO at the Amazon/Bezos-backed Blue Origin rocket company, is stepping down. He’ll stay in post for the time being in what seem to be a harmonious transfer to Dave Limp who has run Amazon’s Project Kuiper broadband division.

Blue Origin has suffered some considerable challenges over the past few years and the consensus view is that work is running some two years late. It is also well behind rival Starlink in getting its satellite constellation into orbit.

Nevertheless, Amazon praised Smith’s achievements in his 6 years at the helm saying: “In his six years, Bob led Blue Origin’s transformation from an R&D-focused company into a multi-faceted space business nearing $10 billion in customer orders and over 10,000 employees.”

Bezos, in an email shortly after Smith’s announcement, also thanked and praised his time at Blue Origin, but also welcomed Limp, saying: “I’ve worked closely with Dave for many years. He is the right leader at the right time for Blue. Dave is a proven innovator with a customer-first mindset and extensive experience leading and scaling large, complex organisations. Dave has an outstanding sense of urgency, brings energy to everything, and helps teams move very fast.”

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