Martin UAV Expands Executive Leadership Team

by | Mar 8, 2021

PLANO, TexasMartin UAV, a pioneering advanced aviation technology manufacturer in the United States today announced the appointments of industry veterans, William Irby as Chief Operating Officer and Sean Olds as Chief Financial Officer, expanding the executive leadership team effective March 5.

Irby comes to Martin UAV with nearly three decades of experience in the aerospace and defense sectors, including critical executive roles leading the largest Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) programs in the last 20 years. Irby spent over 15 years at Northrop Grumman Corporation and nearly a decade as the senior vice president and general manager of Textron Unmanned Systems business group. As part of the Textron unmanned systems business, Irby led teams responsible for full lifecycle development, production and support of unmanned aircraft systems, unmanned surface vehicles, command and control systems, and related technologies. Prior to joining Martin UAV, Irby served as president of the reconnaissance mission systems sector at L3Harris Technologies, a billion-dollar business, and served as the lead for the company’s Texas operation which included ground control technologies portfolio, delivering interoperable, multi-platform ground systems and manned/unmanned teaming systems. Irby earned an engineering degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, and a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in addition to the General Manager Program at Harvard Business School.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to join Martin UAV, working alongside some of the best and most innovative professionals in the industry,” said Irby. “I’m thrilled to bring my collective experience in the UAS space to expand on the company’s vision of where we can take our UAV technology.”

As Chief Operating Officer of Martin UAV, Irby’s appointment will accelerate the company’s strategic plan for growth and expansion in the defense and commercial sectors.

“As we move aggressively into new opportunities, expanded leadership appointments will propel us into territory once believed unattainable,” said Martin Ruben, CEO of Martin UAV. “We are accelerating into new areas faster than ever deemed possible and Bill will be an integral part of our future plans for expansion. His direct experience leading multibillion dollar UAS programs is an integral part of our strategic plan for rapid growth across multiple markets here and abroad. It’s been an exciting six years at Martin UAV, bringing ideas and technology to fruition, and I could not be more confident in the team we have built and where we are positioned in the market.”

Sean Olds, the incoming CFO, brings over 20 years’ experience in defense and manufacturing, at all stages of company growth, particularly in areas of infrastructure growth. Prior to joining Martin UAV, Olds served as Chief Operating Officer at Friedrich Air Conditioning. Sean also served as Chief Financial Officer at KLN Manufacturing as well as vice president of finance and operations at Cobham Aerospace & Security and Munters Corporation. Olds graduated from Midwestern State University with a master’s degree and completed the International Management Program at Duke University.

The company has also announced the following promotions to its executive leadership team:

  • Tae Kim, promoted to Executive Advisor to the Board of Directors 
  • Heath Niemi (USA ret.) promoted to Chief Development Officer (CDO)
  • Austin Howard promoted to Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

For more information on Martin UAV visit:

About Martin UAV:

Martin UAV is a private, advanced technology company based in Plano, TX. The company specializes in building wholly-unique, unmanned aircraft systems and associated flight control software. The company’s systems are commercially developed to fill critical operational needs in tactical & confined operational environments. Its V-BAT series aircraft is the only single-engine ducted fan VTOL that has the ability to launch & recover from a hover, fly over eleven hours in horizontal flight, and make mid-flight transitions to “hover & stare” at any time throughout a given mission set. For more information visit:


May Issue 2024