Connectivity

Panasonic Avionics Appoints New CEO Amid US Investigation

By Woodrow Bellamy III | February 2, 2017

Panasonic Avionics has a new CEO

Panasonic Avionics Headquarters. Photo: Panasonic Avionics.

Panasonic Avionics Corp. has appointed a new CEO after publicly revealing that its business is currently under investigation by U.S. officials under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) technology provider did not disclose specific details about the ongoing investigation.

According to a statement released by Panasonic Corporation of North America, Hideo Nakano will serve as the new CEO of Panasonic Avionics. He will succeed Paul Margis, who has left the company. Panasonic Corp. said that the business operations of Panasonic Avionics is subject to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the FCPA and “other securities related laws,” according to a statement.

The company said it is currently unable to estimate how this will impact the business.

DOJ describes the FCPA as an anti-bribery regulation that makes it illegal for “certain classes of persons and entities to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business.” The law is also described by DOJ as prohibiting the use of payment to influence the actions of a foreign official in a way that would assist a business or person in obtaining business with or directing business to “any person.”

Nakano previously served as deputy CEO of Panasonic Avionics and has also served as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Panasonic’s Automotive & Industrial Systems Company, as well as CFO of Panasonic Corporation of North America. Panasonic Avionics has announced several other executive changes as well, including Mark Jennings taking over as the company’s new Chief Operating Officer. Seigo Tada has been named Chief Financial Officer, succeeding Paul Bottiaux, who has also left the company.

The executive changes came following Panasonic’s announcement that the company would be raising its full operating profit outlook from $2.17 billion to $2.35 billion for fiscal year 2017, which ends in March. Panasonic Avionics had an active year in 2017 as well, including new international partnerships with Yahsat aimed at the Middle East mobility market, a new High Throughput Satellite (HTS) for operators based in the Caribbean and Mediterranean regions, and a record year of new usage for its subsidiary AeroMobile, among other activities. No further details are available about the investigation at this time.

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