Red Cat Holdings — one of the dominant players in the world of American drones — has announced several management changes. Among the most notable Red Cat management changes is the appointment of Teal Drones founder and CTO to Chief Technology Officer of Red Cat (which is the parent company of Teal).
Here’s what you need to know about the latest Red Cat management changes, and what that means for the company:
George Matus appointment to Red Cat CTO signals Red Cat’s focus on tech
George Matus is a compelling name in the drone industry. I met George Matus way back in 2016, when he was just 18 years old – and had already founded his company, Teal, the year prior in 2015.
Among the impressive lines on his resume include Peter Thiel Fellow and Forbes 30 Under 30 member. In 2021, Teal was acquired by Red Cat, upon which the company focused its efforts on becoming a military drone powerhouse through products like the Teal Golden Eagle. Today, the company’s flagship product is the Teal 2 drone which is a powerhouse in the darkness, largely thanks to a partnership with thermal camera maker FLIR.
“Since Red Cat acquired Teal in August 2021, George has been instrumental in leading the Company’s efforts to secure the Army’s Short-Range Reconnaissance(SRR) contract,” Jeff Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Red Cat, said in a prepared statement. “George’s expertise in drone technology is evident in the development of a next generation system for the Army.”
The Department of Defense SRR Program of Record is expected to be awarded to the company in 2024. In Matus’ new role, his duties are set to expand in additional areas of the Red Cat business.
Allan Evans departs to lead Unusual Machines
Unusual Machines is a name that pairs closely with Red Cat. That’s because, while Unusual Machines is an entirely separate company, one hardly exists without the other.
At the end of 2022, Red Cat announced that it would sell off its consumer division of FPV and hobby drones — which consisted of Rotor Riot and Fat Shark Holdings — to Unusual Machines for $18 million. Fat Shark is famous for making some of the top-rated FPV headsets in the world.
Besides allowing Red Cat to focus more on military and industrial drones, the move was strategic to zap ties between Red Cat and China. In a previous statement about the sale, Thompson said Red Cat elected to spin off Fat Shark “because it has parts made in China, and we can’t have any connection with China.”
Evans joined Red Cat in November 2020 following the acquisition of Fat Shark Holdings, where his contributions included integrating acquisitions and designing the Company’s manufacturing facility for Teal Drones in Salt Lake City, Utah.
While the sale is not yet complete, when it does it’ll make Red Cat the largest shareholder in Unusual Machines.
Joseph Hernon to Retire
Hernon, who joined Red Cat in January 2020 as Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of the Company, is set to retire at the end of his employment contract on June 30, 2024.
“Joseph was one of our first employees when he joined the Company in January 2020. His public company financial skills were instrumental during the early days when our capital was very limited,” Thompson said in a prepared statement. “Joseph has built a strong finance team to ensure a smooth transition process as he departs at normal retirement age.”
What’s next for Teal after the management changes
Teal Drones, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, has a 25,000 square foot manufacturing facility which recently received a visit by Republican Senator Romney Mitt Romney. There, the Teal 2 drone is built, enabling it to truly call itself an American made drone. Along with that, the drone is Blue UAS Certified, which means it is fully approved by the Department of Defense. It’s also FAA Remote ID approved.
Among the biggest wins for the company include include:
- A $5.2 million order from the U.S. federal government for 344 drones
- $1.2M additional funding for the U.S. Army’s Short Range Reconnaissance Program
- An order for 200 Long-Range, High-Speed Drones for Ukrainian deployment
- A spot for the Teal 2 sUAS on the GSA Advantage site
As far as what’s next, the company needs to close out the sale of its consumer segment. From there, management has said they’ll be able to more deeply focus on opportunities in what they call a “rapidly emerging” enterprise segment.
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