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Exclusive-Sierra Space Appoints Boeing Veterans to CFO Following Extensive Fundraising Sources

Artist's rendering of the Dream Chaser spaceplane by Sierra Space
Artist’s rendering of Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser spaceplane in this undated handout obtained March 25, 2022. Courtesy Sierra Space/Handout via REUTERS

March 25, 2022

By Eric M Johnson

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Months after receiving a large capital injection, Sierra Space, the space division of Sierra Nevada Corp, has tapped a veteran Boeing co-manager to help sort out its finances as it scrambles to develop its flagship spaceplane and explore an IPO , two people familiar with the matter said.

Sierra Space’s outgoing CFO, Robert Rodgers, spent about a year bringing investors to market and leading due diligence efforts prior to the landmark $1.4 billion funding round, according to his LinkedIn profile , which was announced in November. Sierra said it was the second-biggest private equity infusion of all time in the aerospace and defense sector, taking Sierra’s value to $4.5 billion.

Rodgers will be replaced by 10-year Boeing co-veteran Troy Lahr, who retired as CFO of the aerospace company’s defense, space and security unit in recent weeks.

A Boeing spokesman confirmed Lahr had left the company in recent weeks but declined to comment further.

A spokesman for Sierra Space confirmed in a statement that Lahr would be joining the company soon.

“Sierra Space is assembling a world-class management team, including Troy, that sees many lucrative opportunities in the market for investors while driving innovation and advancing our mission to explore space and promote life on Earth,” the spokesperson said named by Sierra Space.

The spokesman declined to comment further.

The reason for Rodgers’ departure was not immediately clear. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Industry sources say Sierra is looking at a potential IPO, among other things, over the next two to three years, but say no decision has been made yet.

The change in financial leadership comes as the Louisville, Colorado-based company scrambles to develop a reusable spaceplane called the Dream Chaser, which is expected to handle cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station (ISS) starting in early 2023.

Sierra Space says Dream Chaser’s ability to land on a traditional airstrip gives it an advantage over competing solutions for sensitive scientific research cargo. Competitors like Elon Musk’s SpaceX are already transporting people and cargo to the ISS.

Sierra envisions a future where a fleet of its spaceplanes – similar to the Space Shuttle but much smaller – ferry people and cargo from spaceports around the world to a bustling new space economy.

“We are building the next generation of space transportation systems and space infrastructure and goals that will enable humanity to build and sustain thriving civilizations beyond Earth,” said Tom Vice, chief executive officer of Sierra Space, last year.

Sierra Space has also partnered with billionaire entrepreneur Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin to develop and operate a commercial space station in low Earth orbit. Supporters of the so-called Orbital Reef project include Boeing and Redwire Space.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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DUSTIN JONES

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