RALEIGH, N.C. — PrecisionHawk, which develops drone technology aimed at enterprise customers, today announced that James Norrod has been named as the company’s new CEO. Former CEO Michael Chasen will lead PrecisionHawk’s advisory board and continue to champion efforts to integrate commercial drones into the National Airspace as Chair of the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee, the company said in a statement.
Norrod brings more than 25 years of experience leading companies in highly regulated industries, including public and venture-backed technology companies, PrecisionHawk said. He specializes in forming strategic partnerships, optimizing domestic and international operations, establishing new sales distribution channels, and developing management teams.
Previous companies for Norrod include serving as CEO of Tellabs, CEO of Zhone Technologies (Nasdaq: DZSI), CEO of Segway, CEO of Telebit (Nasdaq: TBIT), CEO of Adage, (Nasdaq: ADGE), and CEO of Infinite Power Solutions. He has also served as Executive Chairman of GreenBytes. The company said Norrod has led companies to successful exits to organizations such as Apple, Cisco, and Oracle. His career started with 10 years at IBM, where he managed the General Motors account.
“PrecisionHawk is grateful for Michael Chasen’s leadership in advancing the commercial drone economy and taking on a pivotal role with policymakers in Washington as the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee Chairman,” said Norrod of his immediate predecessor. “Michael grew the company significantly and helped pioneer best practices in drone-based geospatial data analytics across multiple industries. I am looking forward to continuing to build on his foundational work by delivering additional cost and time efficiencies, usability, and operational excellence to our customers. I am eager to partner with him as we continue to build trust between the American public and the commercial drone ecosystem, so that we unlock the full potential of this unique technology.”
Much of Norrod’s experience has been in scaling technology companies by navigating difficult regulatory landscapes and forming fruitful strategic partnerships with other innovative firms, the company said. “This appointment reflects the Board’s confidence in his exceptional ability to foster relationships and drive results, building on the strong momentum PrecisionHawk had in 2019.”
The commercial drone industry has grown faster than anticipated. The FAA forecasts that it could triple between now and 2023, with an estimated 835,000 drones flying by that time. PrecisionHawk said it will continue to lead the way, assisting regulators and encouraging industry participants to adopt innovative policies, practices, and technologies that can support not only today’s drone use cases, but those of tomorrow. PrecisionHawk’s software uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help enterprises better utilize data collected by drones to solve business challenges.
“Ever since leading PrecisionHawk’s Series B financing in 2014, we have shared the company’s vision of delivering unprecedented insight through aerial data intelligence to businesses and markets of all kinds,” said Sam Schwerin, Managing Partner of Millennium Technology Value Partners, and a member of the PrecisionHawk board. “We welcome Jim Norrod as he brings his decades of experience to foster deeper partnerships between PrecisionHawk and its customers and deliver widespread drone technology adoption to the broader markets PrecisionHawk serves.”
Since its founding in 2010, PrecisionHawk has led policy and technology development efforts to advance the global adoption of commercial drone technology. Some of the world’s largest organizations, including five of the top 10 utility companies, the largest provider of mobile communications infrastructure in the United States, and the “Big Six” providers of seed and agricultural chemicals, rely on PrecisionHawk to help them apply innovative drone hardware, software, and services to address critical business challenges, the company said. From managing asset inventory to measuring the health of telecommunications towers, electricity distribution lines, and crops, PrecisionHawk’s drone-based geospatial data analytics solution offers a flexible, cost-effective and safety-conscious path to inspect and manage valuable assets.