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Randall Warnas resigns as CEO of Autel Robotics USA - DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced versus Autel EVO II Dual 640T

Randall Warnas resigns as CEO of Autel Robotics USA

Today we got the surprising news that Randall Warnas, the recently appointed CEO of Autel Robotics USA had resigned. In a post on Facebook Randall explains his motivation for leaving so soon.

Randall Warnas resigns as CEO of Autel Robotics USA

Randall Warnass explains in a post on Facebook why he felt he needed to leave the company so shortly after having started in his new role as CEO of Autel Robotics USA. Recently, Randall was a guest on our PIXL Drone Show and to be honest we got excited about Autel’s future in the US when listening to his plans and his approach.

In his post on Facebook, Randall explains that he was expected to sign off on a termination letter for an employee who had started only five weeks earlier. Randall declined to do so and said he took the ‘over my dead body’ approach, leaving him no other option than to resign from what he says is a suspect company.

You can read Randall’s letter below.

This morning I resigned as CEO of Autel Robotics. Of course I don’t want to be writing this message, but as publicly as I came into the role I wanted there to be clarity that my affiliation with the brand is over.

The team still at Autel is second to none in the unmanned industry. The ownership of the company, however, is suspect. During the interview process I talked about how DJI is run by Frank and the ‘FOF’ (friends of Frank); they laughed and said how they were different. Right… Autel’s owner is also Frank, but has his own FOF (family of Frank), and for nine whole weeks I have been trying to sort that out. When people have unjust authority and no accountability, bad things are bound to happen. This also entirely undermined my ability to function in the role as needed. So rather than prolong this for weeks or months or years, I am moving on.

Mostly this came down to an unjust evaluation of an employee with the company for five weeks which resulted in receiving a termination letter for that person with me expected to sign. I took the ‘over my dead body’ approach and now we’re both floating down the river together.

Thankfully, this is not the end of what I’m going to be doing in the unmanned space. I’ll be taking on a new role at the start of September. Stay tuned.

On Thursday morning, we saw this response from Maxwell Lee, the general manager and owner of Autel Robotics.

DroneXL’s take

We hate to see Randall leave Autel, but honestly this is Autel’s loss and not Randall’s. He will surely land on his feet and it seems he might have already done so. We are a fan of his approach and his management style and are looking forward to seeing what he will do next.

Here’s our interview with Randall on the PIXL Drone Show.

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Haye Kesteloo

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  • Well, I was on the fence about buying an Autel drone for the last few weeks. Reports of them abandoning their older models completely, and batteries for the older xstar models becoming a rare element, and then the V1 vs V2 stuff for the Evo II Pro — already had me nervous. The one saving grace that was about to have me jump in was that the CEO (Warnas) seemed to want to fix some of the problems of Autel’s past – bad or nonexistent customer service, dropping support and updates for (fairly recent) models…

    And now this. Well, I’m sure these company owners think that their behavior doesn’t impact sales. But in my case it certainly did. Damn shame, but maybe Autel should concentrate on righting their ship if they want to compete in this space.

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