A changing of the guard at Scaled

In an announcement whose timing was a bit surprising but also not entirely unexpected, Scaled Composites revealed that Burt Rutan would be stepping down as president and would be replaced by Doug Shane, who had been vice president of Scaled and also served as a test pilot for the company. Rutan will remain with the company as CTO and “chairman emeritus”, positions that Scaled said in the statement will allow him to focus on the company’s creative and entrepreneurial strengths.

Rutan’s long-term future with Scaled had been in question given the health problems he had in the last several months (although he appeared in good health when he spoke at the International Space Development Conference in Washington last week), as well as the acquisition of the company by Northrop Grumman. “I suggested this change to our organizational structure because I want to focus on developing our talented, innovative team and ensuring we continue to provide our customers the creative technical approaches that only Scaled offers,” Rutan said in the Scaled statement. “I am successfully recovering from about 8 months of significant heart health challenges, and with this move look forward to many more years of fun here at Scaled.”

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