By Scott Hamilton
June 15, 2020, © Leeham News: John Slattery, the CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, was named CEO of GE Aviation, it was announced today.
Arjan Meijer is the new President and CEO succeeding Slattery. Slattery succeeds David Joyce, who is retiring. Slattery’s appointment is effective July 13.
Slattery devoted much of the last year trying to win approval of the proposed Boeing-Embraer joint venture, Boeing Brasil-Commercial. Boeing terminated the agreement April 25, claiming Embraer failed to meet all required terms and conditions. Embraer claims it met the conditions. Both took the dispute to arbitration.
Slattery had been designated CEO of Boeing Brasil. After the deal’s collapse, his departure from Embraer was expected.
“In order to ensure a smooth and thorough handover, Slattery will fully assume the role of president and CEO of GE Aviation on Sept, 1, at which point Joyce will transition to non-executive chair of GE Aviation through Dec. 31. Joyce also will continue as GE vice chair and advisor to GE Research through Dec. 31, and subsequently will serve as strategic advisor to GE Aviation into 2021,” GE said in a statement.
LNA two weeks ago outlined a litany of challenges facing a new CEO upon Joyce’s retirement. There were a host of challenges before the COVID crisis emerged. The virus crisis exacerbates the task for a new CEO.
Slattery, as ECA CEO, expressed great interest in green aviation research. GEA already pursues green aviation engine technology. Slattery may be expected to push forward at GEA and at CFM, in which GE holds a 50% ownership interest with France’s Safran.
Airbus now wants to develop a replacement for the A320 family with a 2033 EIS that decarbonizes the airplane. France pledged financial support and Safran is developing an eco-friendly engine. CFM provides a majority of the engines on the A320ceo and A320neo. GE and Safran undoubtedly will want to maintain or increase this market share.
Slattery is also likely to see how GEA can improve or provide a powerplant to upgrade the Embraer E175-E1.
With the E2 version too heavy to comply with US Scope Clause weight restrictions in labor contracts, the aging E1 is Embraer’s only choice for US major airlines. The decision by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to suspend work on the M100 SpaceJet program—and, by all appearances, killing it all together—leaves Embraer with a monopoly in the small jet space.
The E1 design dates to 2000, but the engine’s first flight was in 1982. With sales to the US for the E175-E2 non-existent, Embraer wants to enhance the E1. But obtaining as much as 8% operating economics efficiency from the E1 will be a big task.
Developing a new technology turboprop airliner was another pet project of Slattery at Embraer. With the collapse of the Boeing deal, plans for the turboprop also tanked.
GE is developing an advanced technology turboprop engine. Pratt & Whitney Canada dominates the market with its PW120/150 series and has for decades. It, too, is developing an advanced engine. Rolls-Royce also is studying an engine.
Now, as GEA CEO, and knowing the status at competitors due to his own research for an Embraer turboprop, Slattery may be expected to push the GE development and seek a platform, whether at EMB, ATR, De Havilland Canada or some other provider, including China.