Defense startup Epirus CEO has left to take a new job at a public company

Start on defense Epirus, Inc. got new leadership.

Staff were told in an all-hands meeting this morning that CEO Ken Bedingfield is leaving, TechCrunch has learned. The news was later confirmed by a company spokesperson, who told TechCrunch that Bedingfield had accepted a role at an unnamed public company. He will be replaced by COO Andy Lowery, effective immediately.

Bedingfield held the title of CEO of Epirus for less than a year. Prior to that position, he served as COO and CFO since June 2020. He comes to Epirus from aerospace and defense giant Northrop Grumman, where he served as CFO.

Torrance, California-based Epirus is developing “direct-energy” weapons that can be used to counter drones and other aerial vehicles. The product line, called Leonidas, uses high-power microwave technology mounted on a gimble to neutralize systems from near or far. At the beginning of this year, the company landed a $66 million contract from the US Army to deliver several Leonidas prototypes this year.

Epirus’ technology has also attracted a lot of interest from investors: last year, the startup closed a $200 million Series C at a post-deal valuation of $1.35 billion, from investors including T. Rowe Price Associates, 8VC and Bedrock.

“Over the past year, Ken has led the company through several significant milestones and achievements, most notably the successful delivery of the first IFPC-HPM system to the US Army, paving a clear path toward to deliver an operational high-power microwave capability to the Department of Defense,” a spokesperson for Epirus said in a statement.

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