John Slattery to lead €3.7bn Boeing-Embraer joint venture

Irishman currently president of Embraer Commercial Aviation

John Slattery joined Embraer in 2011 as senior vice president responsible for customer finance, asset and risk management. Photograph: Peter Houlihan

John Slattery joined Embraer in 2011 as senior vice president responsible for customer finance, asset and risk management. Photograph: Peter Houlihan

 

Irishman John Slattery is poised to lead a €3.7 billion joint venture between aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Embraer.

Brazil’s Embraer is selling an 80 per cent stake in its commercial aircraft manufacturing business to Boeing for $4.2 billion (€3.7 billion) in a deal both parties hope will close by the end of this year.

Boeing on Wednesday named Mr Slattery as president and chief executive of the commercial aviation and services joint venture, subject to ratification by the new company’s board once the transaction has closed.

His appointment will give the Clare-born executive charge of a venture that manufactures aircraft such as the recently launched 150-seat Embraer E190-E2, and a services division.

Mr Slattery predicted that Boeing’s backing would boost sales and help win new customers for Embraer’s commercial aircraft.

“That means more aerospace jobs here in Brazil and it means more profitable airline customers around the world,” he told The Irish Times.

“It gives me a bigger balance sheet. I would like to develop more new products and I would like to develop new aircraft. We will have access to greater resources which will allow us to develop more products.”

Mr Slattery explained that the deal remains subject competition regulators’ approval in the EU, US, China and Brazil.

As that progresses, he will continue running Embraer’s commercial aircraft manufacturing arm while preparing for the carve out of the business ahead of its becoming part of the joint venture.

Embraer’s commercial aviation arm employs 18,000 to 19,000 engineers and other skilled workers. “A significant proportion of them will move to the new company,” Mr Slattery noted.

‘Right person’

He will be based in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil and report to Boeing International president, Marc Allen, who will be senior vice-president of Embraer Partnership. He will report to Boeing chairman and chief executive, Dennis Muilenburg.

Mr Slattery acknowledged that the new role would be a step up from his current job, president of Embraer Commercial Aviation, but added that he was prepared for the challenge.

The Irishman stressed that the job was about working with a team to drive growth and meet ambitious targets.

“The values of Boeing and the values of Embraer are very much aligned and that’s what excited me the most about this,” he said.

Greg Smith, Boeing chief financial officer and executive vice-president, described Mr Slattery as the “right person” to lead what he predicted would be one of the most significant partnerships in commercial aviation.

“He brings a tremendous customer focus, depth of knowledge and industry respect to the role,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Slattery joined the Brazilian company in 2011 as senior vice-president responsible for customer finance, asset and risk management and took on his current role in 2016.

Boeing and Embraer’s defence businesses are forming a separate joint venture.