Space tech startup Momentus hires former U.S. defense official as its new CEO
We covered Momentus back in October of last year after the space transportation startup announced its plan to go public through a SPAC with a near $1 billion valuation. The California-based space Momentus sells in-space shuttle services to help move satellites between orbits.
Today, Momentus announced that the former U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood is joining the company as its new chief executive officer. The announcement comes just a day after the U.S. markets regulator charged Momentus with misleading claims over a planned merger.
Momentus said John C. Rood will join the Company as Chief Executive Officer effective August 1. Dawn Harms, who has served as Momentus’ interim CEO since January of this year, will step down from the board and return to her prior role as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), Momentus said in a news release.
Before joining Momentus, Rood has more than three decades of public and private sector experience, including over 20 years of service to the U.S. Government at the Department of Defense, Department of State, White House National Security Council, Central Intelligence Agency, and as a U.S. Senate staff member.
Under Rood’s guidance, Momentus will aim to complete a successful merger with Stable Road Acquisition Corp. in August. The Company’s recent settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) clears the path for the deal and a Stable Road Acquisition Corp. stockholder meeting date is set for August 11 with a record date of July 7, subject to the SEC declaring the registration statement on Form S-4 effective.
“John’s leadership signals a new chapter for Momentus as we focus on the future,” said Momentus interim Chief Executive Officer Dawn Harms. “His deep national security experience, proven expertise in business growth, and steadfastness in government service are invaluable assets. We’re looking forward to welcoming John and seeking to transition to becoming a publicly-traded company with him at the helm.”
Prior to his public service, Rood was Senior Vice President of Lockheed Martin International where he led international business growth. He also served as Vice President for Corporate Domestic Business Development at Lockheed Martin. Before joining Lockheed Martin, he was a Vice President at the Raytheon Company.
“I’m excited and honored to be joining Momentus at this critical time,” said Rood. “This team is building a unique value proposition, services and solutions that will help customers to use space in new ways. I look forward to working with the team at Momentus to mature the technology to make this vision a reality.” Rood added, “I also look forward to leading the company in a new chapter in which we take the actions necessary to address the concerns previously expressed by the Defense Department through robust implementation of the recent National Security Agreement with the U.S. Government.”
Momentus was founded in 2017 by Mikhail Kokorich. Momentus is a graduate of the prestigious Y Combinator program Momentus is currently perfecting both Vigoride and Vigoride Extended to perform last-mile delivery in space for payloads up to 250 kg.
“Dawn’s leadership as the interim CEO has been an unwavering source of confidence for the entire team,” said Stable Road Acquisition Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian Kabot. “Her continued guidance as CRO will be invaluable as Momentus strategizes its offerings in support of the rapidly growing space economy.”