Blue Origin, founded by Jeff Bezos, will replace its chief executive officer, Dave Limp, to Amazon.com's chief executive officer, Jeff Bezos.
current CEO Bob Smith is stepping down and will be replaced by Limp, the company said Monday. Smith will hand over the reins as of Dec. 4, according to two emails sent to employees and seen by Bloomberg News.
Limp has been one of Amazon's top leaders in terms of its device and services businesses, which include the Alexa voice assistant, Echo smart speakers, Kindle e-readers, and Fire-branded streaming sticks and tablets.
He told Amazon employees last month that he would be retiring before the end of the year.
The devices company had responsibility for the company's Internet-from-space satellite venture, called Project Kuiper. The company has been under pressure lately because it struggled to convert Amazon's widespread popularity into a profitable profit engine for the company.
Blue Origin's headcount has grown to more than 10,000 employees, as it opened more new offices and amassed a backlog that the company has said is worth $10 billion.
But Smith, a former executive at Honeywell International Inc., has come under fire as Blue Origin has struggled with setbacks and development hurdles in its space product portfolio.
The most notable mishap happened in 2021, when Blue Origin lost out to SpaceX for a contract to build NASA's human lunar landing system. Blue Origin protested the decision and filed a lawsuit in federal court and lost.
The following $3.4 billion contract between Blue Origin and NASA was a significant piece of NASA's efforts to launch astronauts to the moon's surface.
In 2021, a group of former employees of Blue Origin penned an open letter accusing Blue Origin of creating a toxic work environment and sexist work culture.
For a year, its suborbital New Shepard spacecraft has been grounded, and rival Virgin Galactic has pulled ahead of its third commercial flight. Blue Origin said the mishap was caused by thermal failure of the engine nozzle and it's making upgrades.
Blue Origin's future orbital rocket, New Glenn, has encountered many delays for its first launch.