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Merlin Elevates Executive Team with Appointment of Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and New Zealand Chief Executive Officer

The C-level appointments include Soo Cho to Chief Operating Officer, Patrick DePriest to Chief Financial Officer, and Grant Crenfeldt to Chief Executive Officer of Merlin New Zealand

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Merlin, the aviation technology company developing the world’s most capable pilot to advance the future of automated flight, today announced the appointment of three C-level executives to its leadership team. 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 leading the company’s people and internal business operations, including ongoing flight test campaigns. Additionally, Merlin 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.

Upleveling Merlin’s leadership team comes on the heels of recent commercialization 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. These milestones are indicative of the vigorous work Merlin is doing to safely certify and commercialize the Merlin Pilot, underscoring the importance of advanced operational expertise and a strong leadership team.

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

“Merlin is a progressive company that is rapidly, but pragmatically, innovating to transform the future of air transport. 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 honored to join the Merlin team alongside such passionate aviation professionals,” said Cho.

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

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

About Merlin

Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Boston, with additional offices in Denver, Kerikeri (NZ) and Mojave, Merlin is building the definitive autonomy system for all things that fly. To learn more, visit www.merlinlabs.com or follow us on Twitter @merlinaero.


Kate Gundry

[email protected]

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