Long-time Airbus executive Klaus Roewe will be joining Lilium as the company’s new CEO on Aug. 1, replacing Daniel Wiegand, who will continue as the eVTOL company’s chief engineer for innovation and future programs, as well as board director.
“The board ran an extensive global CEO search and are genuinely excited with the appointment of Klaus Roewe,” said Tom Enders, Lilium chair, in a press release. “We believe adding Klaus as CEO will give us unparalleled executional leadership to complement Lilium’s innovative DNA as we continue the development of the Lilium Jet and advance toward type certification and scale production. Klaus has a breadth of operational experience that is very rare in our industry.”
During Roewe’s 30-year tenure at Airbus, the executive spearheaded all phases of the life cycle of a commercial aircraft, including engineering, manufacturing, program management and customer support.
Specifically, Roewe led the business line for the A320 and A320neo programs, with an aim to improve aircraft performance, cut unit costs and increase market share.
“I’m proud to be joining the most innovative and differentiated eVTOL company in our industry,” Roewe said. “I look forward to working with all the Lilium teams to advance the development of our aircraft and to drive Lilium’s success in revolutionizing sustainable air transport.”
In a company announcement on June 1, Lilium called Roewe’s appointment a move to accelerate “its next phase of product delivery and business growth.”
“I am absolutely thrilled to have Klaus Roewe as our next CEO,” Wiegand said. “I firmly believe that he is the right person to lead us through this next phase, and adding him gives Lilium the ideal mix of Silicon Valley innovation with deep aerospace know-how.”
Wiegand and his co-founders launched Lilium in 2015 with the purpose of developing a Lilium Jet eVTOL aircraft for regional air mobility, recently confirming that it will be using Zenlabs’ battery cell technology to power its aircraft.
The company is currently carrying out its flight test program in Spain using its Phoenix 2 technology demonstrator, announcing on May 31 that it had achieved main wing transition from hover to wing-borne flight, and plans to share videos of the flight with the public.
Roewe’s appointment as CEO will be finalized after Lilium shareholders approve the decision at the company’s 2022 annual general meeting.