Aurora Labs announced a number of executive changes, and there are some very interesting implications for the 3D printer manufacturer.
The Australia-based company has been diligently developing a large-scale metal 3D printer for several years. Their audacious goal is to create a machine that can literally 3D print a tonne of material in only 24 hours .
Such a capability would be revolutionary in some industries, especially those where heavy spare parts are shipped in at great expense. Using Aurora Labs’ system they could instead be simply made on-site at far lower transport cost.
But they haven’t quite yet released their metal 3D printing system, the RMP-1. They are still progressing towards their print volume goal, and seem to be on track. At some point in the near future they will begin sales of their very speedy metal 3D printer.
And that’s where the changes come in.
Aurora Labs Executive Changes
The company has announced that their Founder and long-time CEO will be taking on a different role: David Budge is shifting to CTO (Chief Technical Officer) from the CEO role. Their current Chief Operating Officer, Peter Snowsill, is filling in as an interim CEO until a permanent CEO can be hired.
“The next step in the Executive team boost is the search for and acquisition of a new CEO, who will ideally bring experience in late stage commercialisation to the Company, and lead Aurora and its efforts in this area. The new CEO will complement and enhance recent executive team changes, including Mr Snowsill as Chief Operating Officer.”
Aurora Labs Shifts Gears
Some may suspect this move is some type of demotion for Budge, but I don’t think so.
This is actually a very common move for startup companies. It’s done because conditions change, and you want to have the right person in the right role at the right time.
Typically a company starts by focusing on the technology. The system, be it software or hardware, has to work and that requires careful technical consideration and expertise. If the system doesn’t work at this stage, then the company is doomed. Thus, a company usually must have a strong technology leader at the beginning.
However, once the technology is more-or-less proven, then the focus of the company shifts to sales, rather than product development. At that moment it’s critical for a company to make some cash. What’s the best way to do that? Put in a CEO that is experienced in sales.
And that’s exactly what Aurora Labs has done. Even better, Budge continues to focus on the technology in the new role — without having to worry about CEO stuff.
The changes don’t necessarily stop there in the CEO role. It’s quite possible that over time Aurora Labs may again refocus their company goals as they grow and need a new CEO with different skills.
I’ve seen this before where one startup I followed began with the technology-focused founders, but then switched to a sales-oriented CEO to grow the company. But then, after growth occurred, they switched CEOs again to one that was skilled in positioning the company for an IPO (Initial Public stock Offering).
They made a lot of money on that move. Perhaps Aurora Labs will do the same?
Via Aurora Labs