Polaris hires John Olson as vice president and general manager for Polaris Defense
Polaris Industries Inc. of Minneapolis, MN announced on September 6 the hiring of John Olson as vice president and general manager for Polaris Defense, effective immediately. Reporting directly to Bob Mack, president, Global Adjacent Markets, Olson will execute complete Polaris Defense P&L responsibility, lead and develop the long term strategy for the organization, and build it into a top supplier of innovative customer solutions to the Department of Defense and other government agencies.
“John is incredibly accomplished, is highly conversant with cutting-edge technology, and has decades of experience with the Department of Defense, having both worked within that organization and conducted business with it as a contractor. His combination of energy and expertise will be a boon to our Defense business and our company as a whole,” said Scott Wine, Polaris chairman and chief executive officer. “Polaris Defense has made strides in recent years and has significant untapped potential. I am confident John is the right person to help us realize it.”
Olson joins the company from Sierra Nevada Corporation, where as vice president of their Space Systems business he was responsible for space exploration systems, including the Dream Chaser reusable spacecraft. Altogether, Olson has 28 years’ experience in DoD/USAF, NASA, and White House public service, including 12 years at the Pentagon, as well as 3 years’ executive leadership in private industry. He is also a veteran with active service in multiple conflicts, including overseas and wartime support during conflicts in the Gulf, Bosnia/Kosovo, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.
Olson holds a BS degree in engineering science and mechanical engineering from the Air Force Academy, dual MS degrees in material science, engineering, and avionics from the University of Illinois, and a PhD in industrial and systems engineering from Auburn University.