Palo Alto, May 27, 2022 -- Opener Aero, a leader in eVTOL aircraft systems, today announced the appointment of Ken Karklin to Chief Executive Officer. Ken assumes day-to-day leadership of the company and will join its Board of Directors. Marcus Leng, Opener Aero founder and eVTOL pioneer, has stepped down from his role as Chief Executive Officer.
"Ken brings a breadth of cross functional leadership competencies to Opener that are exceptionally aligned with our forthcoming transition to customer shipments and revenue production of the BlackFly™ Personal Air Vehicle," said Marcus Leng. "The Board and I are confident that Ken is the right person to build on this momentum."
Ken Karklin has served for the last 13 years in a range of leadership functions at AeroVironment, Inc, a global leader in Unmanned Aircraft and Robotic Systems, including Engineering, Operations, Quality, and Program Management. For the last 7 years he has been an officer of the company in his capacities as VP & GM of the Efficient Energy Systems segment, SVP of Operations, and for the last two years as AeroVironment's Chief Operating Officer. Before joining AeroVironment, Karklin served in engineering leadership positions at startup Touchdown Technologies, Agilent Technologies, Hewlett Packard Company and Intel Corporation.
Marcus Leng conducted the world’s first manned eVTOL flight on Oct. 5, 2011 with an aircraft built in the basement of his home. Leng innovated modern battery and motor technologies to produce BlackFly, the world’s first fixed-wing, all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) personal ultralight aircraft. He founded Skykar Inc., which later became part of the Opener Group. For his next venture, Leng will be pursuing a new technical challenge.
"We have an exceptionally talented team at Opener," said Karklin. "I am truly excited to lead the company into the future."
About Opener Aero
On October 5, 2011, history quietly was made near the small town of Warkworth, Ontario, Canada. That day saw the first manned flight of a fixed-wing all-electric VTOL aircraft. This event prompted the formation of a stealth company with the sole purpose of pursuing the development of this new unique technology. In September of 2014, the Company reorganized as OPENER Aero and relocated the majority of its operations to Silicon Valley in California to pursue an unencumbered and accelerated development timeline.
Find videos and more information at https://opener.aero.