Former Insitu CEO makes the leap over to World View stratospheric balloon venture


An artist’s conception shows World View’s Stratollite platform in action. (World View Illustration)

For three and a half years, Ryan Hartman served as president and CEO of Insitu — the Boeing subsidiary headquartered in Bingen, Wash., that pioneered the creation of unmanned aircraft systems for military and commercial applications.

Now Hartman will raise his sights as the new CEO of Tucson, Ariz.-based World View, which is developing stratospheric balloon-borne platforms known as Stratollites to perform satellite-style tasks in remote sensing and communications.

World View said today that its board of directors appointed Hartman to the leadership position, effective immediately. Hartman, who has more than 20 years of experience in uncrewed flight systems and aerial remote sensing, will lead the company’s transition from technology development to scaled-up operations and product development.

Tom Ingersoll, the board’s executive chairman, said he and his fellow board members were “thrilled to welcome Mr. Hartman to the team.”

ryanhartman-293x300.pngWorld View CEO Ryan Hartman. (Insitu Photo)

“As World View prepares for scale and growth, we believe Ryan brings the perfect mix of vision, strategy and execution for the next chapter of our company’s history,” Ingersoll said in a news release.

Jane Poynter, World View’s co-founder, is stepping down from the CEO role but will remain with the company as a strategic adviser and board member.

“We’ve made amazing progress and have built a strong foundation for the company to thrive under Mr. Hartman’s leadership,” Poynter said. “I couldn’t be happier with his appointment, and the board and I are confident that, as a seasoned leader with unrivaled aerial systems expertise, he is the right person to build on our momentum and carry the vision forward.”

Hartman thanked Poynter for her leadership and said he was “fortunate to have inherited a very healthy business.”

“The Stratollite is poised to unlock previously inconceivable remote sensing and communications applications for our customers, and I’m excited to help deliver on that vision moving forward,” he said.

Hartman’s tenure at Insitu began in 2010, and he took on the roles of president and CEO in 2014. He left Insitu a year ago to become CEO of Hood Technology in Hood River, Ore. Before his time at Insitu, Hartman led Raytheon’s Unmanned Systems Directorate of the Advanced Programs Division. He’s a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy, and a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Founded in 2013, World View started out with a concept to loft tourists into the stratosphere in a balloon-borne gondola but shifted its focus to the uncrewed Stratollite system three years ago. The company already has flown a limited series of missions from its facility at Spaceport Tucson — including the flight of a capsule containing a spicy chicken sandwich for a KFC marketing campaign in 2017.

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