Aerospace veteran appointed as Iris Automation CEO


Iris Automation has appointed its new CEO, Jon Damush, effective immediately.

This comes as co-founder Alexander Harmsen has been promoted to Chairman of the Board where he will guide strategy for the company and provide thought leadership on beyond line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations.

Iris says the move reflects the continued growth and the opportunities in the global commercial drone market space.

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Damush brings over 30 years of extensive aviation technology experience and executive leadership, building upon his technical background in engineering, software development and systems integration.

Most recently he led new business ventures at Boeing NeXT.

Before that he was Chief Growth Officer at Insitu, Inc., a Boeing subsidiary, developing novel aircraft and UAS innovation including detect-and-avoid. He was also a Boeing executive liaison and board observer to SkyGrid, LLC, a joint venture between Boeing and SparkCognition.

Commenting, Damush, CEO of Iris Automation said: “I am honored to be taking over leadership of this incredible company. James and Alex have built an amazing team, developed a critical technology and achieved results where others have failed. As we grow into our next phase, I am eager to collaborate with our customers, partners, global regulators and investors to bring these capabilities to everyday use and make flying safer.”

While Alexander Harmsen, co-founder and chairman of the Board at Iris Automation added: “I am thrilled to have Jon join Iris Automation to accelerate our mission and take us to the next level. From when we started the company six years ago, we have built and validated incredibly difficult autonomous vehicle software, grown to support customers worldwide, and achieved ground-breaking regulatory approvals in the U.S. and internationally.

“Now, we are seeing our systems used to enable safe flights across the entire UAS ecosystem, validating our vision. I look forward to working together with Jon on this next chapter, capitalizing on the momentum to take Iris to the ranks of the world’s largest and most trusted aerospace companies.”

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Alex Douglas

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