Alan Klapmeier will be replaced as chairman of the board of Cirrus Aircraft by the end of August and it will be up to the board to decide if he continues as a board member. In a wide-ranging podcast interview Saturday, Cirrus Aircraft CEO Brent Wouters told AVweb that Klapmeier has known for “several months” that his contract as board chairman will not be renewed. Wouters also said he considered Klapmeier’s attempt to buy the VisionJet program a “sideshow” and a “long shot” and that in the end he believed that Klapmeier could not raise the necessary money. He said it was his belief that the two parties were “very close” to a deal when Klapmeier suspended negotiations. Wouters said he doubts there will be future negotiations but he’s not ruling them out. Klapmeier said through a spokesperson that he’ll have more to say on the matter later. Wouters said there may be a silver lining to the controversy.
Wouters said there have been an unspecified number of inquiries from qualified investors interested in funding the development program for the jet. Regardless of whether any of those deals materialize, Wouters said Cirrus will continue to fund the jet’s development from cash flow, which will take longer than he’d like. He said the core company remains strong and sales are steadily improving.