Brian Adams has always been passionate about aviation. FLYR’s new Head of Corporate Development started flying lessons at age 13 and eventually received his undergraduate degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University.
In fact, the first half of his career was centered around aviation, at a business jet manufacturer and an airspace optimization startup eventually acquired by GE Aviation.
It wasn’t until he returned to school for his MBA from the University of Washington that Adams pivoted his career focus on the technology industry.
“When Matt Brown, the Vice President of Growth, reached out to me about potential joining FLYR, I knew immediately it was going to be a great fit – where I could leverage my background in aviation, technology, and growing technology platforms through partnerships and acquisitions,” Adams said.
Adams had come from a recent five-year stint at Amazon, managing the portfolio companies for the $200M Alexa Fund and co-managing the Alexa Accelerator. But after taking a short break, he was ready for a change.
Adams joined FLYR just one week before the crew’s first annual company-wide meeting, Takeoff22, in Amsterdam.
“First off, I was blown away by how great the initial onboarding experience was,” Adams said. “It really allowed me to dive in fast to all of the great content that has been produced, from the internal handbooks to the series of Flight School videos that cover so much about the industry, product, and opportunities.”
Adams’ role within the Growth Team will include helping to identify new business opportunities within the airline industry and in other transportation sectors.
“I have never been more confident in the opportunity FLYR has to continue to grow this company for the transportation industry,” Adams said.
“The foundation the team has set is incredible, and the leadership team has set a vision that I am totally aligned with and excited to help execute.”
Adams said the quick introduction to the whole team – and the deep discussions of FLYR’s goals for 2022 and beyond – have helped him understand just how fast FLYR is prepared to grow.
“Having a ‘North Star’ shared vision of what we will build FLYR into over the coming years is an important factor in motivating us to build it and continue to attract new talent,” he said. “Many companies are so focused on short-term wins and lose the big picture aspects of growth.”
In his free time, Adams and his wife Adrienne, who recently moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, with their young son, enjoy the sunshine and hiking trails in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains.
And while he’s enjoying life as a new dad and his new position at FLYR, there are some aspects of his previous employer that will always remain with him.
Adams said it was incredible to watch Amazon scale to over 1 million employees while still maintaining a consistent culture centered around their Leadership Principles.
“The one that inspired me most was ‘Customer Obsession,’ specifically working backwards from customers – instead of forward from technology – to ensure you meet their ever-changing needs,” he said. “You have to create something customers want by deeply understanding your customers and their pain points and constantly improving the product.”