Press Release

Rocket Lab Welcomes Two New Independent Board Members

By SpaceRef Editor
June 4, 2021
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Rocket Lab, the global leader in launch and space systems, has today announced the appointment of Merline Saintil and Jon A. Olson to its Board of Directors. Ms. Saintil and Mr. Olson bring decades of technology sector experience to Rocket Lab as the company prepares to become a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq via merger with Vector Acquisition Corporation (Nasdaq: VACQ), a special purpose acquisition company. 


“It is an absolute privilege to welcome Merline Saintil and Jon Olson to our Board of Directors,” said Peter Beck, Rocket Lab founder and CEO. “Having served in senior leadership roles at some of the world’s most innovative technology companies, Merline and Jon bring an incredible wealth of knowledge that will undoubtedly help drive our future success as a public company.”  


Merline Saintil will serve as Lead Independent Director providing leadership to the Board’s independent directors and will Chair the Compensation Committee. Jon Olson will serve as the Chair of the Audit Committee. 


With more than 20 years of experience as a technology leader and business executive, Ms. Saintil is widely respected for building global award-winning products in iconic Fortune 500 and privately held companies, including Intuit, Yahoo!, PayPal, Adobe, Joyent, and Sun Microsystems. Ms. Saintil currently serves on the boards of publicly traded companies Lightspeed (Nasdaq: LPSD), Alkami Technology (Nasdaq: ALKT), and Banner Corporation (Nasdaq: BANR). Ms. Saintil was named one of the Women of Influence in 2017 by Silicon Valley Business Journal, one of the 22 Most Powerful Women Engineers in the World by Business Insider, and has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Girls in Tech.  Ms. Saintil holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Florida A&M University and earned a M.B.A. from Carnegie Mellon University. 


Mr. Olson, a seasoned executive with over 40 years of semiconductor industry experience, has provided strategic insight and financial decision making at Intel Corporation for over two decades, and later as CFO at Xilinx from 2005 through to his retirement in 2016. He currently serves as Director on the Board of Xilinx. (Nasdaq: XLNX) and Kulicke & Soffa (Nasdaq: KLIC) and previously served as a Director and Audit Committee Chair of Mellanox Technologies, InvenSense. and Home Union. Mr. Olson serves as a Member of the Deans Advisory Council at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, where he was also inducted into the Academy of Alumni Fellows. Mr. Olson earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Indiana University and his MBA from Santa Clara University. 


Ms. Saintil and Mr. Olson join Rocket Lab during a period of strategic expansion for the company across its launch vehicle and space systems offerings. Rocket Lab recently unveiled its medium-lift Neutron rocket—an advanced new generation reusable launch vehicle with an 8-ton payload lift capacity tailored for mega constellations, deep space missions, and human spaceflight. Neutron will be able to lift more than 90% of all satellites forecast to launch through 2029 and introduce highly disruptive lower costs to the high-growth constellation market by leveraging Electron’s heritage, launch sites, and architecture. Ms. Saintil and Mr. Olson’s appointments also come at a time of continued growth for Rocket Lab’s space systems program, which develops satellite and spacecraft solutions for a range of commercial and government missions, from low-Earth orbit constellations to high-complexity deep space and interplanetary missions. 

SpaceRef staff editor.