Matternet, developer of an autonomous drone logistics platform, has announced the appointment of Michael Whitaker and Dr. Laurence Marton to the company’s board of directors.
Whitaker has spent his entire career in aviation. Most notably, he spent 15 years at United Airlines and rose to senior vice president of alliances for international and regulatory affairs, and in 2013, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as deputy administrator and chief NextGen officer of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), where he worked closely with then-administrator Michael Huerta. Whitaker currently advises airlines and aerospace companies, and as a member of the Matternet board, he is focused on helping the company achieve the ability to offer routine, medically related unmanned aircraft system (UAS) deliveries in the U.S.
“What impresses me most about Matternet is the company’s focus and passion,” says Whitaker. “While it seems at times there are unlimited use cases for drones, Matternet has stayed focused on UAS delivery in a very specific and important area: connecting healthcare providers. With this focus, I am confident in their ability to solve the safety, technical and economic challenges with medical drone delivery.”
Marton has an extensive career in the healthcare sector. He was dean of the University of Wisconsin Medical School and chaired the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where he was a professor in the departments of Laboratory Medicine and Neurological Surgery. Marton now serves as a consultant to nonprofit, government, industry and academic institutions and serves on the boards of entities including the American Association for Cancer Research Foundation, Cancer Commons, RenovoRx, TOMA Biosciences and Cellsonics.
“With their stellar management, determination, laser focus and devotion to quality, Matternet is on a path to make a significant difference in the healthcare space,” says Marton. “They are approaching the integration of drone delivery in healthcare in a way that makes medical and financial sense. I am extremely motivated to help them achieve their goals.”
“We are honored to have Michael Whitaker and Dr. Laurence Marton on our board,” notes Matternet’s founder and CEO, Andreas Raptopoulos. “With deep knowledge in their respective fields, they will be instrumental in helping Matternet expand healthcare operations in the U.S. and overseas. As we continue to lead in the urban drone delivery space, we are eager to leverage their wisdom and insight to help us achieve our growth goals.”
In March 2017, Matternet became authorized to operate drone logistics networks over densely populated areas in Switzerland. In May 2018, the company was selected to carry out drone logistics operations for U.S. hospitals under the FAA’s drone integration program. In June 2018, Matternet formed a strategic partnership with Boeing to shape the next generation of transportation solutions. In addition, Matternet is also the exclusive partner of Mercedes-Benz Vans for integrating its drone logistics system with the automaker’s vans.