The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Archer Bolsters Board Ahead of Merger With Atlas Crest SPAC

Archer this week nominated three more prospective members for the board of the company that will be formed when the eVTOL aircraft developer completes its planned merger with special purpose acquisition company Atlas Crest Investment Corp. In an August 4 announcement, Archer said that Deborah Diaz, Maria Pinelli, and Fred Diaz will join former United Airlines chairman and CEO Oscar Munoz as prospective board directors.

The new directors, who have extensive leadership experience in the aviation, automotive, technology, and finance sectors, will join Archer co-founders Brett Adcock and Adam Goldstein, and Atlas Crest CEO Michael Spellacy, on the board of the combined public company. The transaction had been expected to close by the end of June, but the process now appears to be extending into the third quarter of this year.

From 2009 to 2016, Deborah Diaz was chief technology officer and deputy chief information officer with NASA, with responsibility for global system infrastructure, risk management, financial and regulatory stewardship, innovation, and technology infusion. Since then, she has served as CEO and venture capital advisor to strategic advisory firm Catalyst ADV. Earlier in her career, she held senior positions at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Department of Homeland Security.

Until the end of 2020, Pinelli was with accountancy group Ernst & Young, where she led its consumer products and retail division. Prior to that role, she had been a global vice chair and led the company’s global strategic growth business unit, with a focus on supporting entrepreneurs and private and public companies anticipating exponential growth. She was also Ernst & Young’s IPO leader.

Fred Diaz served as president, CEO, and chairman of the board of Mitsubishi Motors North American from April 2018 to April 2020. Prior to that, he was the Japanese automotive group’s general manager in charge of performance optimization for global marketing and sales. He has previously worked for Nissan Motor Corporation and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Archer nominated Munoz as a director last week. He retired from United Airlines in May, having joined the carrier as CEO in 2015. Before joining united he held leadership roles with CSX Corporation.

In February, United signed an agreement to buy up to 200 of Archer’s four-passenger eVTOL aircraft in a provisional $1 billion deal that includes options to add further aircraft. United plans to operate the aircraft along with its regional partner Mesa Airlines.