Air Capital Insider

Spirit AeroSystems appoints new head of Tulsa facility; will take time to evaluate rest of the site

Along with transferring Gulfstream work in Tulsa to Triumph, Spirit AeroSystems has made some changes in its leadership of the Tulsa facility.

Bill Brown, senior vice president for global customer service and services, will assume responsibility for Spirit’s Oklahoma operations, which include Tulsa and McAlester.

Brown, a former Beechcraft executive, will have responsibility for the programs that remain with Spirit in Tulsa, Spirit’s president and CEO Larry Lawson told employees in a memo about the move of the work to Triumph Group.

Spirit is taking a pause and evaluating the other programs it performs at the Tulsa facility, Lawson said.

The company had put its Tulsa facility up for sale about a year ago, where it also performs work for Boeing commercial jetliners.

“There are a number of factors to take into consideration including exploring our options within the community and with other constituents who have approached us,” Lawson said in the memo. “We won’t rush the evaluation and will provide you with an update as soon as we are ready.”

On Tuesday, Spirit announced it had reached an agreement with Triumph to take over Spirit’s Gulfstream G650 and G280 wing packages.

“We are making this strategic move to better align our capabilities with the market,” Lawson said in the memo. “The deal offers compelling positives for both companies and is expected to close by the end of the year.”

Triumph was chosen after a rigorous bid process with many qualified applicants, he said.

“Now we wish Triumph great success with the best-designed business jet wings in the world,” Lawson said.

The transfer of work is another step in the company’s transformation.

“We must be laser focused on what differentiates Spirit in the marketplace; our ability to design and build large and complex aerostructures in the commercial and defense markets,” Lawson said in the letter.

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