Randall Warnas, most recently head of Global Industrial sUAS at thermal sensor leader FLIR, has been named CEO at Autel Robotics, global drone manufacturer. The drone industry influencer spoke with DRONELIFE about drone technology, platform security, and building a career in the industry.
“Visionary” is a word sometimes overplayed in the drone industry: but for Randall Warnas, who started what was to become one of the largest brick and mortar drone stores in the world back in 2014, the description fits. When his drone store got the attention of DJI, he joined the largest drone manufacturer in the world to begin their enterprise business – now DJI’s fastest growing business. At FLIR, Warnas became the recognized global expert in a wide variety of commercial applications using thermal sensors: from public safety to construction, thermal imaging brought enterprise drone use to new levels.
Now, at Autel Robotics, the drone industry gets a CEO who has come up through the trenches – on the front line for the evolution of commercial drones and commercial drone customers.
“I come from a pretty humble background – and that allows me to pick up the phone or respond to an email no matter who it is from: somebody who just wants to troubleshoot their airframe, or someone who has a bigger opportunity,” says Warnas. “That’s been my secret sauce from the beginning.”
“At DJI, I had a lot of doors opened to me: and at FLIR, I’ve been able to talk to most of the drone manufacturers in the world. I’ve worked with end users, seeing how they solve problems. I was lucky to be part of the industry when this technology was really being pioneered and democratized – I’ve always been trying to put drones in as many hands as possible.”
Listening to customers has been the way Warnas built his career from the early days of running a drone retail store – and he believes that listening will help Autel overcome the biggest challenges facing the industry today.
Read more at: DroneLife
Check out the sUAS News Podcast for an upcoming podcast with Randall Warnas.