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3 Beechcraft executives part of Textron Aviation’s combined new leadership team

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, March 17, 2014, at 6:37 p.m.
  • Updated Sunday, May 18, 2014, at 6:46 a.m.

Three of 10 former senior leaders at Beechcraft Corp. are part of the new senior leadership team at Textron Aviation, the company forged by a merger of Cessna and Beechcraft, according to an internal memo sent to employees Monday.

The remainder of Textron Aviation’s 14 senior leaders have been top leaders with Cessna.

“The senior leadership team combines many of the most seasoned veterans at Beechcraft and Cessna,” said David Sylvestre, a spokesman with Textron Corp.

Scott Ernest, CEO of Cessna, was named CEO of Textron Aviation.

Bill Boisture, who led Beechcraft since his arrival in 2009, is no longer with the company.

The Beechcraft executives who are part of the new leadership team include:

• Russ Bartlett, former president of Beechcraft Defense Co., serves as senior vice president of Textron Aviation’s defense business;

• Dave Rosenberg, formerly with Beechcraft as vice president for strategic planning and programs, continues at Textron with the same title;

• and Christi Tannahill, former senior vice president for Beechcraft global customer support, is senior vice president of turboprop aircraft.

Textron Aviation was officially launched Friday after Textron Corp., Cessna’s parent company, closed the deal to buy Beechcraft, combining the two historic airplane companies under one business.

Although the companies have merged, Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker will remain distinct brands.

“Friday’s announcement set a positive and proactive tone for a new era of leadership in the general aviation industry, with the combined strength and histories of the Beechcraft and Cessna companies,” the memo to employees said. “As we take the next step to launch Textron Aviation with customers around the world, we do so with a highly skilled and effective leadership team leveraging the strengths and capabilities of the combined companies.”

Company officials had said the consolidation will bring job reductions as the two companies integrate support operations, although Textron CEO Scott Donnelly said Friday it was too soon to say how many jobs will be cut.

Experts have said they expect the consolidation to most immediately impact senior managers in areas where there are duplications. But it continues to be unclear just how many executives already have been let go.

Some of the former leaders at Beechcraft who are not part of the new senior leadership team at Textron Aviation will stay with the company in other roles, while others will leave, a source close to the situation said Monday.

Other leadership team members who were formerly with Cessna, include: Ron Draper, senior vice president for integrated supply chain operations; Cindy Halsey, senior vice president for interior design engineering; Chris Hearne, senior vice president for jets; Joe Hepburn, senior vice president for piston aircraft; Blake Meyen, vice president, general counsel and secretary; Eric Salander, senior vice president and chief financial officer; Bill Schultz, senior vice president for China business development; Kriya Shortt, senior vice president for sales and marketing; Michael Thacker, senior vice president for engineering; Brad Thress, senior vice president for customer service; and Jim Walters, senior vice president of human resources and communications.

The changes are effective immediately, the company said.

“In the coming days, information about the structure of each team will be communicated by these leaders,” the memo said.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @mmcmillin.

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