Irish man John Slattery to head GE aviation unit

Slattery will take over from David Joyce on September 1st

John Slattery. Photograph: Peter Houlihan

John Slattery. Photograph: Peter Houlihan

 

Irish man John Slattery will replace David Joyce as the chief executive of General Electric’s aviation unit, its key aircraft engines division, as the global industry grapples with disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company said on Monday that Mr Joyce will retire after 40 years with the conglomerate. Mr Slattery (51), the head of commercial aviation at Brazilian planemaker Embraer, will assume the role of president and chief executive of GE Aviation on September 1st.

The appointment comes weeks after the collapse of a planned aerospace alliance between Embraer and Boeing Co, which Mr Slattery had defended, and marks what one observer referred to as a shift of culture as the industry faces its worst crisis.

Grounded

GE’s once high-flying aviation unit has been hit by the drop in air travel, adding to the toll from hundreds of grounded Boeing 737 MAX jetliners. GE said last month it planned to cut the global workforce of its aviation unit this year by as much as 25 per cent.

Industry sources had predicted Mr Slattery would quit Embraer if the alliance with Boeing, for which he lobbied amid scepticism from European Union regulators, did not materialise.

Boeing terminated the deal in April, sparking an arbitration battle between the two companies.

Despite that spat, industry sources said Mr Slattery has forged close relations with Boeing’s management. The arrival of a European at the helm of the world’s largest engine maker could also help reset relations between GE and Airbus, whose biggest jets are powered by UK rival Rolls-Royce.

Together with France’s Safran, GE co-owns engine maker CFM International which supplies all engines for Boeing 737s and powers about half of the medium-haul Airbus A320s.

The Clare-born executive is a younger brother of Dómhnal Slattery, the chief executive of Dublin-based aircraft leasing giant Avolon. – Additional reporting: Reuters