American billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has roped in Dave Limp as its new CEO, effective December 4, to put its orbital space tourism ambitions into stride. At the same time, long-time CEO Bob Smith will step down, remaining with the company until January 2, 2024, to ensure a smooth role transition. Bezos sent an internal email to employees on Monday to inform them about the change.
Limp was a former Senior Vice President of the Devices and Services unit at Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). Limp stepped down from his role in August this year, marking another high-profile exit at the e-commerce giant. Limp has a long-standing history of achievements at Amazon.com. He was instrumental in launching the Kindle reader and Alexa. Most importantly, he also supervised Project Kuiper, Amazon’s low-earth orbit satellite project, which it hopes will compete with Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink network.
Here’s What Bezos Expects from Limp
Blue Origin has been successful in flying suborbital flights, but its main mission is to take rockets into the Earth’s orbit. Bezos expects Limp to successfully steer its orbital launch business. Blue Origin wants to take people to the moon for NASA, like SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. Bezos views this as a multi-billion-dollar business by winning government contracts for space projects.
Blue Origin is in the final stages of developing its own rocket, named New Glenn. Under Limp’s leadership, this project could be fast-tracked and see its rocket blast off to space next year, as per schedule.
New Glenn has faced several technical hurdles over the years. As a result, Bezos’ ambition to fly the rocket into space has taken time. With a new CEO at work, the billionaire founder is hopeful that things will pick up speed and see the timely launch of its first rocket next year.
Blue Origin and SpaceX are privately held space companies. Let us see how some of the listed space stocks perform based on the TipRanks Stock Comparison Tool.
Both Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Leidos (NYSE:LDOS) currently score a “Perfect 10” on TipRanks Smart Score, indicating they are highly likely to outperform expectations. Meanwhile, only Leidos has a Strong Buy consensus rating, while Boeing stock has the highest upside potential of 29.5%.