Raburn Leaves Eclipse as Condition for Next Phase of Financing

Vern Raburn has left the company he founded more than 10 years ago in a move required by terms of the latest round of financing. Raburn made the announcement Monday morning at the annual Eclipse press breakfast the first day of EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. Taking over as chairman and interim CEO is Roel Pieper, head of ETIRC, the European company that has been instrumental in financing Eclipse over the past five years. Raburn said, "I'm not a quitter and I'm not quitting. In the world of high finance, these things happen. Starting more than 11 years ago, it was my goal to use technology to change the value proposition. We expected to create whole new markets and change air transportation. It's happening today." Pieper repeated his praise for Raburn's accomplishments, saying, "The company has a good product. The company is safe. We have investors and we have funding." He added that in the next two days the new management would "reach out to suppliers, customers and employees." He said the next direction for Eclipse would be to "shift from creativity to operational excellence. Changes are tough, but necessary. I respect Vern enormously; and I respect what he has done." Eclipse's current goal is to achieve "cash flow positive" status in the first quarter of next year.