Time to Rebuild: Embraer Commercial Aviation Appoints New CEO
In the aftermath of the failed joint venture with Boeing, the industry was expecting management moves within Embraer Commercial Aviation. One of these steps finally arrived Monday when the Brazilian builder announced that Arjan Meijer is appointed as the division’s new CEO, effective immediately, reporting to Francisco Gomes Neto, Embraer President and CEO.
It is no secret that the now-former CEO John Slattery had a mission from the day he took the position, in July 2016: to align all the pieces for a swift merger with Boeing. And in that process, he succeeded. The road was by no means free from obstacles though. To prepare a highly-skilled workforce with a standalone mentality and swift to a new mindset was hard, time-consuming and extremely expensive.
Boeing would disagree on the success of Slattery’s task. In fact, one of the reasons cited for dropping the deal in late April was the number of milestones that weren’t met by the agreement ratification deadline. Still, there was a myriad of external factors -a pandemic that destroyed any growth outlook for the next three years, to name just one- that sank that joint venture for good. Whether the reason provided by Boeing is a proper justification or a mere excuse, is yet to be decided in a court.
John Slattery leaves Embraer, according to the company’s press release, “to take an opportunity with one of the company’s main partners in the industry.” As usual, just an hour after his departure, the new opportunity showed up. General Electric announced that Slattery will take the role of David Joyce as President and CEO of GE Aviation, effective July 13.
“John has played a central role at Embraer during a challenging time, and we thank him for his dedication and tireless service to the company, as well as its customers, employees, and partners,” said Alexandre Silva, Embraer Chairman of the Board.
Arjan Meijer, 47, joined Embraer as Vice President of Commercial Aviation for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Russia in April 2016. In January 2017, he was appointed Chief Commercial Officer of Embraer Commercial Aviation. Prior to joining Embraer, Arjan spent 15 years in various executive roles at the KLM Group. His last two roles were Vice President of Technical Services and Fleet Development at KLM’s regional subsidiary KLM Cityhopper and Managing Director at KLM UK Engineering in Norwich. Arjan earned a Master’s in Aeronautical Engineering from Delft Technical University in the Netherlands and a Master’s in Business Administration from Purdue University in the United States.
“Arjan has done a fantastic job as the head of sales for Embraer Commercial Aviation. He has the energy, international experience, and skillset to lead our commercial aviation business at this unique moment,” said Francisco Gomes Neto.