On Jan. 3, Leonardo UK announced that Clive Higgins will serve as the ad interim Chair and CEO of Leonardo UK in Yeovil, England. The move follows the departure of Norman Bone, who held the position for six years before leaving the company on Jan. 1 to pursue other opportunities. Higgins joined what was then GKN Westland Helicopters, Ltd. in 1994 as an apprentice in mechanical engineering. He previously served as the Director of Government Affairs and Senior Vice President for Human Resources and Organisation at Leonardo UK. Higgins will hold the position of Chair and CEO while the company evaluates external candidates for the role.
SkyDrive Welcomes Coville
Dr. Arnaud Coville has joined SkyDrive as Chief Development Officer, the Toyota City, Japan-based company announced on Jan. 10. Coville previously served as the Chief Technical Officer of Volocopter, after holding several senior positions in aircraft development and program management at Airbus. He has over three decades of experience in the aerospace industry and holds a PhD in automatic control and robotics. At SkyDrive, Coville will lead the development team for the SD-05, the company’s two-passenger electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
Mores to Serve as Volocopter CTO
On Jan. 10, Volocopter announced that Sebastian Mores is the company’s new Chief Technology Officer. Mores, the Chief Engineer for the VoloRegion and VoloDrone, began serving in the position as of Jan. 1 and will retain his previous role. As CTO, Mores will be responsible for preparing for the company’s target for the launch of commercial services at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Before joining Volocopter in October 2018, Mores worked in multiple departments at Airbus Helicopters.
Howell Joins Joby’s Advisory Board
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Scott Howell has joined the advisory board for Joby, the California-based eVTOL developer announced on Jan. 11. A veteran of the US Air Force, Howell previously served as the Commander of Joint Special Operations Command and as Vice Commander of US Special Operations Command. In a statement, Joby founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt said that the US government and Department of Defense have been “important partners” to the company in recent years.
Lilium’s New CFO and CCO
Lilium’s Board of Directors announced on Jan. 16 that it has appointed Oliver Vogelgesang as Chief Financial Officer and Sebastien Borel as Chief Commercial Officer. Vogelgesang joined the Germany-based eVTOL developer in July 2021 as Senior Vice President for Finance and Controlling; prior to this, he held senior roles in finance at Airbus. Vogelgesang will be succeeding Geoffrey Richardson, who held the position of CFO since 2020. Borel joined Lilium in November 2021 as Vice President Business, before serving as Senior Vice President Commercial beginning in 2022. Borel previously worked at Honeywell and Airbus.
UMILES Next Appoints CTO
UMILES Next, a Madrid-based eVTOL developer, has appointed Gustavo Rodríguez as its Chief Technology Officer, the company announced on Jan. 16. Rodríguez will be responsible for designing and implementing the company’s technology development strategy and for contributing to its business growth plan. Prior to joining UMILES Next, Rodríguez held senior management roles at the French firm Altran (Capgemini) and at Ecosat Airchips. Rodríguez trained as an aeronautical engineer at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and has more than 20 years of experience in the aerospace industry.
Yutko Named Wisk Aero CEO
Dr. Brian Yutko will serve as the new Chief Executive Officer at Wisk Aero as of Feb. 1, the California-based eVTOL developer announced on Jan. 17. Yutko succeeds Gary Gysin, who retires after having helped establish Wisk Aero in 2019 as a joint venture between Boeing and Kittyhawk. Yutko has been a member of Wisk’s Board of Directors since January 2021 and previously served as Boeing’s Vice President and Chief Engineer of Sustainability and Future Mobility. He has held multiple other leadership roles at both Boeing and Aurora Flight Sciences. “Leading Wisk has been one of the most rewarding roles of my career and I’m honored to have helped lay the foundation for both the company and the future of mobility,” outgoing CEO Gysin said in a statement.
New Airbus Helicopters Executives
Stefan Thomé will serve as Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters in Germany, the company announced in a LinkedIn post on Jan. 24. Thomé succeeds Wolfgang Schoder, who served in the role for 16 years before retiring on Jan. 1. Thomé will continue to serve as Executive Vice President for Engineering and Chief Technical Officer of Airbus Helicopters, as well as the CEO of Airbus Helicopters Germany. He previously led new digital business models and services at Airbus Defence & Space and several past positions at Airbus Helicopters, mostly related to engineering and industry.
The company made other changes to the Airbus Helicopters executive committee for 2023. Mathilde Royer Germain stepped into a new role as Head of Strategy and Sustainability, while Dr. Martin Werner was appointed Head of Digital and Company Transformation (DTO).
Textron Appoints Atherton as Bell COO
Lisa Atherton will serve as the Chief Operating Officer at Textron’s Bell, Textron announced on Jan. 19. Atherton joined Textron in 2007 and most recently served as President and CEO of the company’s Textron Systems segment, a position she has held since 2017. Prior to that, Atherton was the Bell Executive Vice President for Military Business, after serving in various roles at Bell — including V-22 Program Manager — and Textron Defense Systems. Atherton is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy and Air Force veteran. “Lisa’s leadership and experience with military programs at Bell and Textron Systems will be invaluable as we ramp up and execute on the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft program,” said Textron Chairman and CEO Scott C. Donnelly in a statement.
Lund Joins Ferrovial
Caryn Moore Lund will serve as the Vice President of Public Policy, Regulatory and Government Affairs for Ferrovial Airports, the company announced on Feb. 2. Lund will oversee the vertiport developer’s regulatory efforts at the federal, state and local levels. She previously worked as the Head of Public Affairs for the Americas at Lilium Aviation, prior to which Lund served as an Assistant Secretary at the Department of Transportation in the Trump administration and held a senior leadership role on the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. “I deeply believe in the mission and the potential benefits that this new, sustainable form of air mobility can provide to states, cities, and communities worldwide,” said Lund in a statement.
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