Jetpack Company Appoints CEO
Martin Aircraft Company Press Release
Jetpack Company Appoints CEO
Richard Lauder named Chief Executive of Martin Aircraft Company
Christchurch, 16 December 2008. – Martin Aircraft Company today announced the appointment of Richard Lauder as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective 1 January 2009.
“We’re delighted to attract someone of Richard’s calibre to this position as we seek to capitalise on the extraordinary global attention the Martin Jetpack has received since its launch in July,” says the company’s Chairman Jenny Morel.
“As well as a track record in building and running large commercial enterprises, Richard brings a real passion for the product and for achieving something unique in the history of personal flight,” says Ms Morel.
Mr Lauder, an existing director of Martin Aircraft Company, built his reputation as a corporate leader by transforming the Christchurch City Council’s public works unit into nationally regarded contracting company City Care.
More recently, prior to its trade sale in October 2008, Mr Lauder was Executive Chairman of Australasian contracting company Excell Corporation, a subsidiary of Eric Watson’s Cullen Investments.
“It was fortunate for me that the sale of Excell coincided with Martin Aircraft Company’s search for a new Chief Executive,” says Mr Lauder.
“After many years in the corporate world, I am relishing getting back to the all encompassing role of running what is currently a small business.”
“You can’t get much more exciting than this, being involved in the first company that will sell jetpacks to the world.”
Mr Lauder has said one of his first tasks is to secure the necessary funding to support the full commercialisation of the Martin Jetpack. “To deliver on its plan to build Martin Jetpacks locally, and sell them through a distribution network initially targeting the US market, the company needs further equity.”
“Once that funding is in place, the business can be built around existing and future orders.”
Mr Lauder confirmed that Martin Jetpack inventor and company founder Glenn Martin would remain at the core of the company, leading the ongoing development of the product.
Mr Martin said he was delighted with the appointment. "We have built a breakthrough product, and world class engineering team, Richard’s appointment is a major step forward for Martin Aircraft in building a world class company as well.”
“Richard brings valuable skills and experience from the commercial world that will strengthen the company, and has shown through his Board involvement that he also understands the technical aspects of fulfilling our Jetpack vision. Also, Richard joining the team gives me the time and space to focus back on the Jetpack.”
About Richard Lauder
Richard Lauder is an experienced corporate leader. He is well known for transforming Christchurch’s council works unit into a national competitive contracting business called City Care. Subsequently he was Executive Chairman of Australasian contacting company Excell Corporation.
As well as a Chemical Engineering Degree from the University of Canterbury, Mr Lauder has completed a MBA from the University of Otago. He also has a tertiary qualification in ethics.
Mr Lauder has served as a director of Martin Aircraft Company since 2004.
About Martin Aircraft Company
Based in Christchurch, New Zealand, Martin Aircraft Company is developing the world’s first practical jetpack, the Martin Jetpack. Launched to global acclaim in July 2008 at the Experimental Aviation Association AirVenture air show in the USA, Martin Aircraft Company plans to fulfil its first customer orders in 2009.
The founder of Martin Aircraft Company and the inventor of the Martin Jetpack is Glenn Martin. Richard Lauder is the company’s Chief Executive Officer. The company is privately held, including a substantial shareholding by No 8 Ventures.