Horizon Hobby Announces Passing of Chief Executive Officer Joseph Ambrose

The hobby lost a great industry leader and ambassador to our hobby - Joe Ambrose.


Horizon Hobby Chief Executive Officer Joseph Ambrose - 1957 -2019

The first time I met Joe was at a Horizon Hobby flying event. I was talking to David Payne and Joe walked up. I turned to him and said, "I think I know you, are you a writer? " He laughed and said no, stuck his hand out and said, "I'm Joe." Joe was a regular guy that happened to run one of the most successful hobby companies in the world. We have lost a great ambassador to our hobby.

From Horizon Hobby

It is with deep sadness we announce the unexpected passing of Joe Ambrose. Joe died in Champaign on January 4, 2019, at the age of 61. Longtime Horizon board member and Chairman of First Busey Corporation, Greg Lykins said, “With Joe’s passing, we have lost an amazing human being and visionary leader. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Joe have lost a dear friend and inspiring mentor.”

Joe joined Horizon Hobby in 2005 as the Vice President of Distribution. In 2008, Joe was named President and CEO. In 2014, Joe led the buyout of the Horizon ESOP with partners from Armory Capital and Mill City Capital. In 2018, Joe headed the acquisition of Hobbico’s RC assets, in the largest acquisition in industry history.

In addition to leading Horizon Hobby, Joe also served as a director of First Busey Corporation, a financial services company, since 1993. Before joining Horizon, Joe practiced corporate law for twenty years in Bloomington, IL.

Joe received a BS in Finance from the University of Illinois. He earned a Law Degree from Indiana University and an MBA degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

The executive leadership of Horizon Hobby will work closely with their board of directors during the transition.

We appreciate your respect for the privacy of the family during this difficult time.

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Jan 07, 2019, 03:27 PM
Registered User
God rest his soul and give peace and comfort to his family.
Jan 07, 2019, 07:48 PM
Rest In Peace, Mr. Ambrose. Your corporation makes the hobby fun for ALL.
Last edited by Bell47G2; Jan 08, 2019 at 10:32 PM.
Jan 07, 2019, 10:00 PM
Registered User
RCvertt's Avatar
Thank you for your dedication and contributions to the hobby Mr. Ambrose. Rest In Peace.
Jan 07, 2019, 10:59 PM
Split S
TimJohnson's Avatar

Blue skies and calm winds.
Jan 08, 2019, 04:24 PM
Registered User
Manuia le Malaga. Have a restful journey.

Thank you for your dedication to this hobby.
Jan 08, 2019, 07:45 PM
Torquay/Warralily Coastal Vic.
BellairIntl's Avatar

Safe journey Joe

Our heartfelt sympathies go to Joe's family, friends & colleagues at this time.

Rest in Peace

Joshua 1:9

Your friend in Australia

Jan 10, 2019, 03:17 AM
Torquay/Warralily Coastal Vic.
BellairIntl's Avatar

Tribute video for Joe

Maule Beach flight Jan 2019 (4 min 3 sec)

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