Former Embraer Commercial Aviation CEO to Take Lead at GE Aviation

Former Embraer Commercial Aviation CEO John Slattery is taking over as president and CEO of GE Aviation for David Joyce, pictured here, who is retiring after 40 years with the company. Photo: GE Aviation

On the same day Embraer took steps to reintegrate its commercial aviation business after plans to merge with Boeing fell through, John Slattery, former CEO of the Brazilian airplane maker’s commercial division, is leaving to take over as president and CEO of GE Aviation.

In April, Boeing terminated an agreement that would have purchased 80 percent of Embraer’s commercial aircraft business, a percentage that will now be reintegrated with the rest of the company. Along with the restructuring, Arjan Meier will take over as president and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation for Slattery immediately.

The 47-year old Meier previously had served as chief commercial officer of Embraer Commercial Aviation since January 2017, after joining the company a year earlier as the vice president of commercial aviation for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia. Prior to joining Embraer, he worked in executive roles with the KLM group.

“He has the energy, international experience, and skillset to lead our commercial aviation business at this unique moment,” Embraer CEO Francisco Gomes Neto said.

Embraer reported a 20 percent decline in first quarter net revenues compared to the same period a year ago, due to a significant drop in the number of commercial aircraft deliveries. Commercial aviation revenues halved from $281 million last year to $140 million, while defense revenues fell from $179 million last year to $149 million this year, and business jet revenues grew from $117 million last year to $130 million this year.

Despite reintegrating the commercial aircraft business into the rest of the company, Neto confirmed during the first quarter earnings call that Embraer is looking for new partners to replace Boeing in what would have created a $4.2 billion joint venture for the development of commercial aircraft and sales of the Embraer-developed C-390 multi-mission medium cargo and transport plane. Embraer is still undergoing arbitration with Boeing over the cancelled agreement.

Slattery is taking over leadership for GE Aviation after David Joyce, vice chair of GE and president and CEO of GE Aviation, announced his retirement after 40 years with the company. Joyce helped GE turn aviation into one of its leading verticals, “doubling its revenue from $16.5 billion to $33 billion, growing total backlog from $26 billion to more than $270 billion, and industrializing advanced technologies across both commercial and military applications,” according to GE Aviation.

The former Embraer executive is to start the new position on July 13 and will assume the role of president and CEO beginning Sept. 1, 2020. Joyce will continue to serve as a strategic advisor through 2021.

“I have long considered GE Aviation to be the leading aviation franchise in the world, and I am humbled to take the helm from David and lead this talented team forward,” Slattery said. “This is a time of unprecedented change in the aerospace industry yet also an opportunity to reimagine the future of flight and how we can best serve our customers.”

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