United Launch Alliance (ULA) today named veteran aerospace industry executive John Elbon as its next Chief Operating Officer, succeeding Dan Collins, who had served as COO since ULA’s founding in 2006 and retired early this year.


Elbon joins ULA from The Boeing Company where he served as Vice President and General Manager, Space Exploration, a division of Boeing Defense, Space & Security.


He was responsible for the strategic direction of Boeing’s civil space programs and support of NASA programs such as the International Space Station (ISS), Commercial Crew Development program and the Space Launch System.


“We could not be more pleased to have John join the ULA leadership team during this exciting time of transformation,” said Tory Bruno, ULA president and CEO.


“John brings a tremendous amount of expertise in the area of civil space, and his leadership will continue to help ULA drive its world-leading reliability, schedule confidence, and mission optimization – delivering value unmatched by any launch services company in the industry.”


During his nearly 35-year career, Elbon has served as Vice President and Program Manager for Boeing’s Commercial Programs, where he managed Boeing’s efforts on NASA’s Commercial Crew Space Act Agreements, including the first two phases of the Commercial Crew Development program, Vice President of Systems Integration for the Army’s Future Combat Systems, and the Boeing Program Manager for several NASA programs including Constellation, ISS and the Checkout, Assembly & Payload Processing Services (CAPPS) contract at Kennedy Space Center.


As Vice President and Program Manager of ISS, Elbon led Boeing in its role as prime integrating contractor for NASA’s ISS contract to design, develop, test, launch and operate this orbiting facility.


The multi-billion dollar contract required the coordination of several thousand Boeing employees in five major locations as well as subcontractors and suppliers located in 23 states across the United States.


Elbon holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.


Collins retired after 11 years as ULA’s COO, during which he managed the establishment of the new joint venture, led the integration of a portfolio of launch vehicles that is unmatched in reliability and performance, and oversaw the launch of 125 launches with 100 percent mission success.


With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider.


ULA has successfully delivered more than 125 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system.


For more information on ULA, visit the ULA website at www.ulalaunch.com



Jessica Rye, Heather Mowad