B5 Systems

Operator Suppressor Systems Founder And President Russ Oliver Resigns

Last Friday I received a phone call from Russ Oliver, the founder and (now former) President of Operator Suppressor Systems. I’ve known Russ for many years and it was great to hear from him. After we exchanged pleasantries, he asked if I would share a letter he had written, with SSD’s readers. I wasn’t sure what it was all about until I received a copy of this shocking news last night. He doesn’t pull any punches in his resignation but I cannot imagine that Russ Oliver came to this decision easily or rashly. It’s a major announcement that I am sure will result in some interesting effects across the suppressor market.

Russ looked at suppressor technology from a totally different direction, carrying this new concept’s fire for many years and making quite a splash at firearms industry events. Rather than the Maxim-style suppressors we are used to, Russ had a design that looked in cross-section like a jet engine turned inside out.

His departure from OSS makes me ponder what this means for the brand. Regardless, I wish Russ Olliver well in his new endeavor and continued success for the men and women of OSS. They sent him off right.

Friends and Patrons of OSS,

I cannot possibly articulate or properly convey the degree of gratitude the OSS team and myself have for the unwavering support we have received over the past few years. The resilience of everyone’s support, from operators, components, federal and local law enforcement, firearms manufacturers, fellow engineers and scientists, and patriotic gun users and enthusiasts nationwide has motivated our team’s relentless dedication in bringing flow through suppression from conception to reality. Together, I believe we have proven there is a new century of signature reduction possibilities that will in time, dominate weapon systems of the future. In that aspect, we have a Mission accomplished!

With this success has also come the apparent realities and evils of some particular corporate business philosophies. It is these philosophies, who unfortunately retain a majority ownership of OSS, which have forced my resignation as President of OSS and terminated my employment. As of February 18, 2016 I could no longer in good conscience be an executive or employee of the new OSS and immediately pursued and am currently pursuing the sale, at discount if necessary, of all of my interests/shares and ownership of OSS.

In complete contrast of multiple inferences falsely portrayed in a letter from the new OSS acting “President” and management posted on “the tactical wire.com” (in which I had no prior knowledge of nor were advised, consulted or quoted in regards too), I DO NOT support the new management direction of OSS in any way, nor do I believe it will be successful in the future to any degree that it would have been with its original team, purpose, concept and trajectory. The “success” spoken of in the new managements posted statement, is the direct result of exceptional personnel and their vision, capabilities, execution and dedication in combination with the financial support of several tremendously supportive and honorable minority owners.

The new OSS was built by and upon, but will not continue to flourish at the ignorant expense of exceptional men. Those men worked for and accomplished the impossible for purposes greater than themselves. The strength required to support the degree of dedication, sacrifice, and adversity that has been overcome in this endeavor can only come from true greater purpose and brotherhood, not personal wealth, greed or ego. The sum of the people who have willed OSS to success, has been and is the true strength and value of the company.

In addition to myself, over a dozen other primary and essential team members feel the same and have and will be leaving the company as soon as they are able. In my opinion, these personnel represent the whole of OSS’s sales (to include military, international, federal agencies, law enforcement and civilian sales), engineering, project management, testing/evaluation, and IT departments. These personnel represent exemplary experts from both military and civilian backgrounds to include, former military service ranks from CW 5 through Sgt. and civilian expertise from PhD of computer science through engineering.

Myself individually and as a group profoundly disagree and are unable to place our names and reputations upon the new managements business practices, treatment of employees, sales policies, product performance compromises, quality practices, priorities and production. In our opinion and interpretation, the “new” OSS Philosophies include among others; the military mentality will no longer be a part of OSS, a 20% return rate and ship now fix later philosophy is acceptable, and the weight of devices is the sole determining factor above ALL else moving forward. These new philosophies are the opposite of who we are as men and what we aspire to be, THE BEST!

Moving forward, my primary responsibility is to those individuals who have stood by me and through their examples made me who I am today, for which I am forever honored and grateful. In the initial interest of promoting these exceptional individuals, I have created a new company, the Organization of Strategic Sciences www.orgstrategicsciences.com and www.facebook.com/Organization-of-Strategic-Sciences-536453453204094.

Within the following days and weeks, resumes of these exceptional gentlemen who have already left or intend to leave OSS, will be posted as they become available. I would give or take a bullet for each of these men without hesitation and ask of any potential employer in and out of the firearms industry who reads this article, please consider them for upcoming or current positions you may have available.

As far as myself, I will also be available in a variety of limited capacities through strategic sciences for the next 362 days. After that time, industry can certainly expect me back with an unrestricted vengeance, wielding the passion, vision and creativity that the original OSS was founded under.

Years ago, some real physicists nicknamed me “the caveman physicist”, I wear that nickname with pride! There is no doubt a million more caveman physicists, like myself, are creating new technologies in their garages right now. I’m sure they will all say as I would, even caveman physicists know there is more than one way to apply physics and science to solve any given problem! Knowledge, perspective and creativity WILL always find a way.

With sincere thanks and appreciation to all who have supported myself and my team,

Russ Oliver

Founder and former President of OSS


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27 Responses to “Operator Suppressor Systems Founder And President Russ Oliver Resigns”

  1. Corporate culture has killed far to too many businesses lately. People need to learn to never give up more then 49% of their company unless they want to lose it or have it ruined.

  2. AGI says:

    An absolute blueprint of what has been done to many brands over the past several years in this industry. Corporate culture and ineptitude during and after acquisitions has ruined a number of companies and left good and competent former employees stunned at the misguided destruction of what they worked so hard to build.

    • 18Derp says:

      I think this isn’t to be seen as some unexpected thing. When you want to bring VC/Moneymen in, you are pretty much saying you’re OK with any decision they make, including the frequent one to replace you.

      Their money, their rules. This is what happens when a company wants to go too big too soon or their marketing (mouths) start writing checks their sales/products can’t cash.

  3. jbgleason says:

    It continues to amaze me that otherwise very brilliant people think they can take money from VC’s or corporate overlords and somehow retain their small company structure or culture. Wake up, when you take their money you begin playing by their rules. More amazing though is that these corporations are actually turning big profits. Some of the decisions they make defy explanation.

  4. WillT says:

    I was recently given the advice to read The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman prior to initiating the activation of some business ideas. The book is long but worth it’s weight in gold.
    I highly suggest that any entrepreneurs out there, current or budding, take the time to read it.

  5. 18Derp says:

    This is intersting that he’s clearly dealing with VCs in some form. It further complicates my view of just how much money they have been spending at SHOT for the last two years. TONS. The only time you’re really heard from these guys has been around SHOT times. A lot of marketing money. The private parties with open bar, free tattoos, fancy suites, etc.

    I met the guy at his suite, very nice guy and seemed legit. Was upfront that when the ATF regulated their back pressure part as a silencer (depending on when you order it, weirdly) that it fucked them. He had said they were going to get lawyers involved. I suspect that the ATF didn’t back down.

    Still… I was put off by how much money they were spending on marketing and co-branding knowing that it couldn’t have possibly been coming from sales.

    Am I the only one confused as to why the “new” company is ALSO “OSS”? And it seems that he believes he is locked in a non-compete but those are typically very easy to defeat, any lawyer would find a lot of precident that no one can keep you from earning a living in your trade.

    Lots of confusing.

    • SSD says:

      Noncompete agreements depend a lot on where you live and whether you left of your own volition or were fired.

    • Joe says:

      I feel the same way. This whole situation – from the (extremely weird, IMO) press release, to the video, to the above letter – just seem…..awkward.

      Leaving a company on the grounds of it straying from your original dream is understandable and admirable. But posting a weird video of removing a flag makes the resignation seem more symbolic than business related. I’m also confused by the idea of naming a new company the same initials as the one I’m leaving.

      I’ve never been one to enjoy airing dirty laundry in public, so maybe I’m understanding it all wrong.

  6. Russ is an extremely intelligent dude. Can’t wait to see whats next. I wish him and the rest of those moving on from OSS the best of luck in their new endeavors.

  7. JS says:

    sounds like a familiar story concerning another can company a few years ago……

    • 18Derp says:

      They haven’t recovered. AAC didn’t show a single new thing for SHOT this year.

      Which reminds me, wasn’t Kevin supposed to have a new company shown by now?

  8. Bobby Davro says:

    I think a great thing to take from this is the support he’s giving to his friends and employees sounds like and A1 bloke to me

    • Bill says:

      I dunno, that one paragraph about people who “have or might” leave could wind up with some folks twisting in the wind. I don’t know how big an operation they were running, but implying to an employer that key employees are going to leave, and making them relatively easy to identify, could be putting them in a tough spot, if they don’t have the financial means to up and quit.

  9. Mark S says:

    Russ’s statements and actions are simply his way of communicating his departure from a company that he has put everything into.

    I have known Russ for many years and doubt that a decision such as this was made lightly, or without good reason.

    I don’t know many who could have: formulated the idea for the suppressor, developed the idea, entered business world, and then to become a major player in the suppressor business world. That is a great accomplishment.

    I wish Russ and his Team the best, and look forward to their next adventure.


  10. ODG says:

    Russ is a top shelf human being. He is brilliant and his suppressor concept sketches go back to when he was at Q course. I have seen them with my own eyes. He put decades of his life and experience into OSS. I wish you the best Russ and I have no doubt your next venture will be just as big, good luck my friend!

  11. Easy E says:

    I’ve been interested in OSS suppressors for awhile; I think their design may represent a way forward for the industry by offering a reduction in length and other benefits. A problem for me, someone who is looking to purchase a few additional suppressors in the very near future, is that I’ve had trouble actually finding them in stock and being able to fiddle with them. I personally like to get my hands on something before making a purchase such as this. With that said, I hope Russ finds more success in his future and is able to export his concepts to other manufacturers.

  12. Eric B says:

    It’s getting weird. My partner, who has two of their cans and is waiting on a third, texted an unnamed person at OSS today and got a quick “Russ didn’t quit. Where did you hear that? What website?” Then he got an assurance that OSS is just fine. But, reading this letter, it doesn’t sound like things are fine at all! Especially if the President and Founder resigns and an employee hasn’t even heard the news. Seems like that news would spread fast, even over the weekend

  13. Toby Melville says:

    I have know Russ for several years and have not only respected him as a fellow 18 series but as a friend. His departure truly saddens me as it hits home for me. I too am an entrepreneur and know full well what it is like to create something new and original. Russ is a damn fine man and professional. I am honored to call him a friend. What ever Russ needs if I have it to give its his. My hope the he and his beautiful family do well and continue to reshape our landscape.

  14. bobby j says:

    IANAL, but seems like naming his new company “OSS” is asking for a lawsuit.

    I get that the OSS (the original one) was his brainchild and he wants to retain some of the brand recognition (which is exactly why he’s going to get sued), but he needs to move on and pick a new name.

    If he innovates, buyers will find him regardless of the name he chooses.

  15. CowOnHead says:

    It is unfortunate the lesson we have learned here is one that is all too common in the firearm industries. The man running the company is a engineer and a poor business man. Sold his company to those who don’t appreciate their work and they’re getting at each others throats.