Wisk and Lilium, developers of EVTOL aircraft, make leadership changes
There have been changes in the senior leadership teams at two leading eVTOL aircraft developers, Wisk Aero and Lilium. This move comes at the start of a crucial year for the advanced air mobility sector's front-runners to meet their ambitious schedules. At a time when accessing new sources of funding may be more difficult, both companies are trying to bring products to market.
Brian Yutko was named CEO of Wisk on January 17. He will take over from Gary Gysin, who is retiring on February 1.
Gysin has led Wisk since 2019 when the company was founded with Kitty Hawk and Boeing as shareholders. In January 2022, he secured an additional $450 million investment from Boeing for the sixth-generation eVTOL aircraft the company unveiled last year.
At Boeing, Yutko serves as vice president and chief engineer for sustainability and future mobility. As a senior vice president of Aurora Flight Sciences, he was previously chief technologist for the Boeing NeXt business unit.
Sebastien Borel will become Lilium's chief commercial officer, replacing Oliver Vogelgesang as CFO. In July 2021, Vogelgesang joined the company as senior vice president of finance and controlling, while Borel was previously vice president of business operations.
Since November 2020, Richardson has been with Lilium. During his tenure as CFO, he played a major role in securing the company's Nasdaq listing in September 2021 and raising $119 million in the November 2022 funding round.
According to the company, the next phase of bringing the Lilium Jet into commercial service will require its senior leadership team to be based in Germany under the leadership of newly appointed CEO Klaus Roewe. California is the home state of Richardson.
As part of its application for an EASA design organization approval, Lilium has just completed its third of four audits. The final audit is expected to take place during the first half of this year. The approval is an important prerequisite for obtaining type certification. Production-ready prototypes will be built this year so that flight tests can begin.