Former Google and Facebook exec makes drone industry debut in COO role


A senior Google and Facebook executive has made his industry debut in the commercial drone market.

Airobotics, an Israeli start-up that developed one of the world’s first fully automated drones, has appointed Richard Wooldridge as the company’s new chief operating officer.

In his new position at the company, which was the first to be granted an aviation authority to fly drones without a human pilot, Wooldridge will focus on scaling up the organisation’s manufacturing.

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Wooldridge previously served as the COO and GTM lead at Facebook’s Building 8 and Google’s Advanced Technology and Products Group (ATAP), both consumer hardware teams responsible for innovative consumer electronics.

The new COO boasts over two decades of managerial experience in the technology industry, leading teams at corporate companies to drive business and enhance product operations and innovation, from the start-up stage to mass commercialisation.

He also served as Motorola’s VP of global supply chain for over five years, where he generated billions in product sales, as well as developing modular smartphones and smartphone platforms.

“We’re very happy to have Richard on board during this exciting time of growth in our company,” said Ran Krauss, CEO and co-founder of Airobotics.

“After securing $42.5 million in our latest funding round, we’ve begun to expand to new countries around the world and we’re continually working with new companies in various industrial fields. Richard is one of the world’s experts in scaling-up global business and his expertise will be vital as we enter our next phase of expansion.”

Wooldridge added: “After personally investing in the company for many years and serving on Airobotics’ board of directors, I’ve witnessed first-hand how Airobotics has distinguished itself as the leader in automated drone solutions. I’m looking forward to helping navigate this startup’s future innovation.”

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Emma Calder

The author Emma Calder

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