Bonjour, and welcome to the Pathfinder in Paris experience, powered by Payload. We’ve got a surprise in store for you today – a twofer! That’s right, two guests for the price of one, and packaged up into one standard length podcast.
In this week’s episode, and our second dispatch from back-to-back space conferences in Paris, Ryan sits down with Redwire CEO and Chairman Peter Cannito, followed by an interview with Al Tadros, Redwire’s chief technology officer. Redwire is a full-stack space infrastructure company based in Jacksonville, Florida, and publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange ($RDW).
The first half of the podcast features our conversation with Peter, who is also an operating partner at AE Industrial Partners. The space-focused private equity player has more than $3 billion in assets under management and hatched Redwire in late 2020 by merging Adcole Space and Deep Space Systems, and has also backed Firefly, Sierra, and other big space names. With Peter, we discuss Redwire’s M&A strategy, business roadmap, growth markets, investing in space, AE’s central role in the space ecosystem, and the geopolitics of space. Peter has spent 25+ years in the defense, tech, and government contracting sectors, and was formerly the CEO of Polaris Alpha. He holds a bachelor’s from U Delaware, an MBA from Maryland, and served as an officer in the US Marines.
The second half of today’s episode features our conversation with Al, who makes strategic investments that support Redwire’s customer base, advance technology development, and further commercialization. Al has nearly three decades of experience as an aerospace executive and has straddled both business and technical leadership functions, which makes his perspective particularly unique and valuable. Prior to being named as CTO of Redwire earlier this year, Al was the company’s chief growth officer and executive vice president of space infrastructure. Before Redwire, Al was VP of space infrastructure and and civil space at Maxar Technologies. Al holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering and a master’s in mechanical engineering from MIT.
Today’s episode of Pathfinder is brought to you by SpiderOak Mission Systems, an industry leader in cybersecurity. Check out SpiderOak’s space cyber whitepaper at spacecyber.com
0:00 – Intro
2:30 – Show begins with Peter
4:49 – International expansion
7:08 – Square footage…correlated with company success?
9:07 – Operator + investor experience in space
14:30 – Space macro discussion
17:44 – Taking Redwire public via SPAC, and why not all space SPACs are created equal
22:02 – Peter’s take on geopolitical trends shaping space, and a modern-day space race with China
26:27 – Al joins + tells us about the Redwire CTO role
27:10 – His journey at Redwire and rising up the ranks
33:00 – Redwire’s technology portfolio
35:07 – Robotics in space
38:47 – Flight-proven hardware, structures on the ISS, etc.
42:01 – Where is the European space sector headed?
45:00 – The space industry always has room for more fresh talent, including folks in non-technical roles