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Merlin brings in executive hires
The appointments of COO, CFO and NZ CEO come on the heels of recent commercialisation and certification achievements for its platform-agnostic advanced automation system Merlin Pilot.

Boston, Massachusetts-headquartered autonomous fixed wing flight technology developer Merlin has appointed 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 COO, leading the company's people and internal business operations, including ongoing flight test campaigns. Patrick DePriest, Merlin's former vice president of finance, becomes CFO and Grant Crenfeldt, its former director of operational compliance and safety, becomes CEO of Merlin New Zealand.

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 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 AOC to support future operational freight routes in New Zealand. These milestones are indicative of the vigorous work Merlin is doing to safely certify and commercialise 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," says CEO and founder Matt George.

"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 honoured to join the Merlin team alongside such passionate aviation professionals," says 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," adds DePriest.

"Since the opening of our New Zealand-based test centre 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," says Crenfeldt.

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