ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Eclipse Aviation founder Vern Raburn is stepping down as the very light jet manufacturer's chief executive officer.
The company announced Monday in a news release that Raburn's departure comes as the Albuquerque manufacturer of the Eclipse 500 receives a new round of financing.
Raburn will be replaced by Roel Pieper, chairman of Eclipse partner European Technology and Investment Research Center Aviation, or ETIRC Aviation. Pieper also is chairman of Eclipse Aviation's board.
Pieper says it's time to take the company to the next level of growth.
Raburn will be vice chairman at ETIRC Aviation and help with global expansion of the Eclipse 500 jet.
ETIRC invested more than $100 million and announced a partnership with Eclipse in January after the company failed to meet its 2007 production goals.