Co-founder Carl Dietrich leaves Terrafugia


Carl Dietrich, a co-founder of experimental-aircraft design house Terrafugia has left the company.

Carl and his wife Anna Dietrich were among the group of five MIT graduates who founded Terrafugia in 2006. Carl worked as the CEO and CTO and Anna as the COO.

Terrafugia has undergone several changes since it was acquired by Chinese conglomerate Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in Jul 2017. Carl stepped down as CEO (remaining as CTO) after the company was acquired and has been succeeded as CEO by Chao Jing, an aviation veteran from Honeywell. Since the acquisition, the CFO position has been filled by ex-IDEX executive Huabing Wang.

Since November 2017, Terrafugia has grown quickly from 54 to 250+ employees internationally.

Carl announced on Linkedin that he was leaving the company, saying: “After thirteen amazing years with Terrafugia, from pre-founding through acquisition in 2017, I have finally decided to step away from the company over the course of the next few weeks.

“Thank you to everyone who made the journey possible — and to those who joined me in pursuit of the dream.  I hope they all continue to do amazing things.  I am looking forward to seeing what the future will bring!”

The reason for the Carl’s departure has not been specified. Terrafugia released an official statement on Carl’s departure Yesterday, with a statement from Mr Jing which reads:

“I am honored to have been given this opportunity to join the highly innovative company Terrafugia and to set its business strategies for the future.

“Terrafugia will continue to calibrate its business strategies based on market opportunities, and we look forward to becoming an industry leader with a high focus on customer satisfaction in air mobility.”

Since the acquisition, the company has added a manufacturing centre in Handzhou, China and a flight-test hangar in in Nashua, NH to its facilities. So far, the company has logged more than 200 flights hours on its Terafugia D2 prototype and unveiled its eVTOl concept the TF-2 in July last year.

According to Crunchbase, Terrafugia has received $6.8 million in funding from seven different funding rounds prior to the acquisition, with the last Series C round being raised in February 2015. One of the company’s key investors before the acquisition was Chinese early-stage venture investor Haiyin Capital.

Terrafugia remains based in Massachusetts and is expecting to have its first production VTOL come to market this year.