Michael Zahra, a senior vice president, replaced Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) co-founder Tony Di Benedetto, the Toronto company announced June 10. Di Benedetto remains with the company, responsible for business strategy and will serve as an advisor to the board of directors.
“Tony has done an outstanding job in leading the organization from a concept to a market leader in the commercial drone cargo space,” Zahra said in a statement. “Utilizing my years of experience in e-commerce, logistics and management, I am excited to take on my new role and work with our partners, including Air Canada.”
Zahra had served as the senior vice president for operations and strategy since January. He is a seasoned Canadian executive, previously serving as the president of Staples Business Advantage Canada and Yahoo Canada.
The company had no immediate explanation for the management shakeup. Di Benedetto had led DDC since 2014. He presided over the company’s initial public offering in 2016 and commercial development of its drones and propriety flight platform.
“I am confident in passing the baton to Michael as he has the necessary skills to take DDC to the next level,” Di Benedetto said in a statement. “I look forward to working alongside Michael to continue uncovering key opportunities for the company both in Canada and abroad.”
Drone Delivery Canada’s partnership with Air Canada, announced on June 4, represents a large potential leap for the company’s commercial operations. Its aircraft had thus far largely been limited to small-scale pilot projects.
Air Canada, the country’s largest cargo carrier, will be marketing and selling DDC’s services. The agreement foresees the development of up to 150,000 routes.