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Leadership Moves, September-October 2021
  • 26 Sep 2021 06:57 AM
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Leadership Moves, September-October 2021

Dave Dennison

Archer Aviation

Palo Alto, California-based eVTOL company Archer Aviation announced multiple new appointments as it continues to increase its workforce and push towards development and certification of its eVTOL aircraft, which it says will be operational by 2024. Archer expects that its special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger with Atlas Crest Investment Corp. will be approved by shareholders on Sept. 14.

Jeff Greenwood joined as Chief Flight Test Pilot and Head of Flight Safety. He is tasked with developing the command center of the aircraft, as well as setting the test flight timeline and leading test flights. Previously, Greenwood served as the Director and Chief Pilot at Bell, with a total of 14 years in rotorcraft flight testing, after 14 years in the US Marine Corps.

Dave Dennison joined as VP of Engineering. After 13 years at Bell and three years as VP of Engineering at Triumph Aerostructures, Dennison oversaw the execution of the technical activities in the development of Archer’s two-seat Maker demonstrator aircraft. He brings nearly two decades of engineering new product development programs, with experience spanning rotorcraft and fixed-wing aircraft, prototype aircraft, aircraft structures research and development, and managing aircraft production lines. • Bob Ellithorpe joined as VP of Program Management, and will oversee the development and production of Archer’s commercial eVTOL aircraft. Previously, Ellithorpe was President and CEO for Tribus Aerospace Organization. Prior to this, he held leadership positions at GKN Aerospace, Precision Cast Parts (PCC), Sikorsky and L-3 Communications, preceded by 10 years at Bell — including as executive director of the V-22, Eagle Eye and Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) — and 13 years in the US Marine Corps.

Glen Burks has joined as VP of Manufacturing and will focus on leading the manufacturing efforts that come with creating a certified, commercial airline. Burks previously served as Head of Quality for Triumph Group, preceded by 15 years at Bell and five years in the US Marine Corps.

Joby Aviation

Santa Cruz, California-based Joby Aviation went public on Aug. 11, trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with the “JOBY” ticker, after its SPAC business combination with Reinvent Technology Partners (RTP). In preparation for this, the company announced its Board of Directors.

JoeBen Bevirt is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Joby and has led the team since its inception more than a decade ago.

Paul Sciarra is Joby’s Executive Chairman and was its first outside investor. He was previously best known as the cofounder and CEO of Pinterest.

Dipender Saluja is the Managing Director of Capricorn Investment Group. He joined Joby’s Board of Directors in 2016 after he led the company’s Series A financing.

The following appointments were made to Joby’s Board of Directors since December 2020:

Aicha Evans, CEO, Zoox (an autonomous vehicle company, now owned by Amazon).

Dr. James Kuffner, CEO and Representative Director of Woven Planet Holdings, and Member of the Board of Directors and Operating Officer of Toyota Motor Corporation.

Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Co-Founder and Co-Lead Director of Reinvent Technology Partners.

Halimah DeLaine Prado, General Counsel, Google.

Laura Wright, former Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Southwest Airlines.


Munich, Germany-based Lilium GmbH announced these appointments to the Board of Directors of Lilium N.V., which will be chaired by former Airbus CEO Thomas Enders upon completion of its SPAC business combination with Qell Acqusition Corp., which is scheduled for a shareholder vote on Sept. 10.

Gabrielle Toledano, Chief Operating Officer at Keystone Strategy, LLC.

Henri Courpron, Founder and Chairman of Plane View Partners, LLC — and previously CEO of International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) and Airbus North America.

Lilium N.V. is the future corporate construct, a Netherlands public limited liability company (naamloze vennootschap), which will supersede Lilium GmbH. Daniel Wiegand is the company’s CEO and co-founder.

Will Roper

Beta Technologies

Meanwhile, Burlington, Vermont-based Beta Technologies added Edward Eppler as CFO. Eppler was previously the head of Aerospace and Defense Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs, and brings nearly 30 years of investment banking experience to the startup, including deep experience advising aerospace companies and investors in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and public and private financing.

In addition, former Assistant Secretary of the US Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (SAF/AQ) Will Roper — who launched Agility Prime and was the biggest advocate for eVTOL in the Pentagon over the past few years — was appointed to Beta’s Board of Directors. Since leaving the Air Force in January, Roper has joined the boards of several aerospace companies, including unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) companies Red 6 and Vita Inclinata, and was named as CEO of commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) company Volansi.

Other Beta board members include the company CEO, Kyle Clark; United Therapeutics CEO Martine Rothblatt; Stone Point Capital CEO Chuck Davis; Dean Kamen of Deka Research and First Robotics; and John Abele, co-founder of Boston Scientific.

Sumita Tandon and Jonathan Lovegren

Wisk Aero

Mountain View, California-based Wisk Aero has appointed two new industry leaders to the company.

Jonathan Lovegren, Head of Autonomy, will oversee Wisk’s autonomy program, including engineering and certification strategy for autonomy. Previously, he served as Flight Software and Simulation Lead at A3 by Airbus, where he was responsible for overseeing critical flight control software and simulations for Vahana, Airbus’s autonomous, full-scale eVTOL demonstrator. Lovegren has also held key leadership and technical roles at UAS company Airware, Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

Sumita Tandon, Head of Software, will be responsible for leading all aspects of Wisk’s Software and Automation Group through the certification process, from aircraft to ground control software. Prior to joining Wisk, she was Director of the Chief Engineering Office at L3Harris for its commercial avionics division, driving robust designs for surveillance products and striving for engineering excellence across the organization. She brings more than 25 years of experience, with a significant part in the aerospace industry, helping to certify many safety critical products on major platforms, meeting DO-178 guidelines.

Michael Hinderberger

XTI Aircraft

Michael Hinderberger has joined Englewood, Colorado-based XTI Aircraft, which is developing the regional air mobility hybridelectric TriFan 600 eVTOL. Hinderberger was previously a senior vice president of Aerion Corporation (the supersonic bizjet startup previously backed by Boeing that closed down in March). His 36-year aerospace career also included stints at Honeywell, Rolls-Royce, Gulfstream (as chief engineer), Hawker Beechcraft and Piper Aircraft.


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