Merlin makes multiple appointments to leadership team including New Zealand CEO

Line of Defence Magazine - Update

Merlin
Merlin appoints new NZ CEO. Image courtesy Merlin.

The C-level moves include the appointment of former Director of Operational Compliance and Safety Grant Crenfeldt to Chief Executive Officer of Merlin New Zealand.


Autonomous flight technology developer Merlin has announced the appointment of three C-level executives to its leadership team.

According to the 18 March announcement, Soo Cho, a former Palantir executive with over a decade of people management and employment counsel experience, will serve as Merlin’s Chief Operating Officer. She will lead the company’s people and internal business operations, including ongoing flight test campaigns.

“As the new Chief Executive Officer in New Zealand, I’m excited to lead the ongoing and future test efforts that will ensure our systems can safely and effectively shape the future of aviation.”

Additionally, Merlin has appointed Patrick DePriest, its former Vice President of Finance, to Chief Financial Officer, as well as Grant Crenfeldt, its former Director of Operational Compliance and Safety, to Chief Executive Officer of Merlin New Zealand.

“Merlin is rapidly innovating to create a safer and more resilient air network, and we need great leaders to accomplish that mission,” said Matt George, CEO and founder, Merlin. “Our people are what make our mission, and we couldn’t be more excited about the leaders we are adding to our team.”

“Since the opening of our New Zealand-based test center, we’ve made significant technological and certification progress to accelerate advanced automation systems,” said new NZ CEO Crenfeldt.

“As the new Chief Executive Officer in New Zealand, I’m excited to lead the ongoing and future test efforts that will ensure our systems can safely and effectively shape the future of aviation.”

Upleveling Merlin’s leadership team comes on the heels of recent commercialisation and certification achievements. These include entering an agreement with the United States Air Force (USAF) to design, integrate, test, and demonstrate aspects of the Merlin Pilot on the KC-135 Stratotanker for the first time, as well as receiving a Part 135 Air Operators Certificate to support future operational freight routes in New Zealand.

“Merlin is a progressive company that is rapidly, but pragmatically, innovating to transform the future of air transport,” said new COO Soo Cho. “I know the value that cutting-edge technology and automated approaches can bring to both the private and public sectors, particularly for government applications, therefore I’m honoured to join the Merlin team alongside such passionate aviation professionals.”

“Merlin’s team consists of unparalleled talent that is building the next evolution of technology adoption in aviation,” said new CFO DePriest. “I’m excited to head the financial operations for the company, and look forward to continuing our momentum as a technology innovator.”

Merlin was founded in 2018 and is headquartered in Boston, with additional offices in Denver, Kerikeri, and Mojave.

Babcock
RiskNZ