Mercuri Urval Creates Advanced Air Mobility Competence Center

June 7, 2024 – Stockholm, Sweden-based executive search firm Mercuri Urval (MU) has launched its advanced air mobility competence center, which designed to address the leadership need in this emerging industry sector. Consultant Julia Reichel and partner Florian Erhorn have both specialized in electrification, aerospace and aviation industry for many years and are familiar with the opportunities and needs for this sector. They will work alongside the existing aviation & aerospace group. “Leaders in advanced air mobility must balance technological progress with regulatory requirements, and at the same time uphold their commitments to diversity and sustainability and legal requirements,” said Ms. Reichel. “They must also adopt a modern, non-hierarchical leadership style to attract the best talent and leaders. Furthermore, the use cases are hinging on serving humanity rather than serving an elite section of wealth travelers the skills to drive social and regulary acceptance are key.’

“Two megatrends in the industry are clear,” MU said. “It needs to be sustainability-driven, and it needs to have the ability to lead an emerging purpose-driven consumer base and workforce. This requires the identification of leaders by skills and traits more so than in existing aerospace markets, where track record is often a key deciding factor. In this environment traditional leadership models face challenges. Leaders understand that this industry is developing applications and use cases that serve humanity – from airline feeders but through to humanitarian missions, search & rescue, delivery of medical supplies a more so they must drive forward with innovative R&D, growing teams and securing industry spanning partnerships.”

Related: Mercuri Urval Appoints Leader of Americas Business

“The eVTOL industry reaches a new type of talent with its use cases that range from passenger air taxi, cargo transport to emergency responses,” said Jörn Jäger, ex-Voloctoper head. “The exciting thing is that it is a sector that will offer more sustainable, accessible and convenient services to existing user groups while not replacing existing modes of transport and offering infrastructure and services to customer groups and locations where mobility has so far been limited.”

New Type of Leader

“From a skills and leadership perspective this means that talent will be sought that portrait the right mixture of inherent safety consciousness and a rainmaker attitude,” said Mr. Jäger. “Traditionally, technical expertise has been prioritized in aerospace leadership roles, and the talent pool has come from within or other aerospace companies. And even if airlines and OEMs historically are very good at internal talent and leadership development, with the increasing demands on leadership, new leadership capabilities are needed beyond the technical aspects.”

The close collaboration between the EVTOL and Vertiport community demands a further stretch, as Clem Newton-Brown from Skyportz adds: “When we look for leaders and their skills to assist us to invent this new aviation ecosystem, we need leaders and experts who understand town planning, politics and licensing,” he said. “And we need leaders who speak the language with property owners, who can lead community & business engagement, so that we can get to critical mass. It is clear that the ability to get foresight on someone’s ability to perform is of critical value to employers in AAM as these businesses explore untrodden paths, finding new ways to do things.”

Mercuri Urval Acquires Delta Management Consultants
Mercuri Urval (MU) has acquired German executive search firm Delta Management Consultants GmbH. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. “We are pleased to be acquiring such a longstanding firm with such exceptional colleagues,” said Richard Moore, CEO. “Together we will create even further value for both our clients. Today clients need effective, sustainable, and diverse leadership more than ever. Acquiring and improving leadership is the greatest challenge organizations face – and the only way they can sustainably outperform.”

Furthermore, MU says inclusivity to accelerate innovation is at the core of this emerging market. Balkiz Leader, CEO Airbus UAM was recently named ‘Leader of the Year’ by EVTOL Insights. She agrees that this requires a certain type of leadership: “Being inclusive does not mean all of us always agree,” she said. “But we nurture a culture of flat hierarchies and an extended leadership team. Daily we debate, decide and do. Sounds easy, but it is a lot of work, that’s what it takes to build something that has never been built before. Much of what we do, whether it is our technologies, our vehicle, our systems or our certification standards are being done for the very first time. We are building simultaneously and interactively our business model, aircraft and all supporting systems. Each is deeply interconnected with the rest, evolving rapidly and all towards a shared ambition of safe product and a viable business.”

The advanced air mobility practice will be managed as part of the aviation and aerospace subgroup by Julia Reichel and will be supported by the battery competence center under Florian Erhorn.

Mercuri Urval is a global executive search and talent advisory firm. The firm was founded in 1967. Today, Mercuri Urval works with more than 3,000 clients – across all sectors – in over 70 countries every year. It is the only global executive search and leadership advisory firm based in the Nordics.

Related: Mercuri Urval Group Appoints Sector Leader

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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