Billson Named President Of Manufacturing; McConnell To Lead
In a release sent to current Eclipse 500 owners and position
holders, on Tuesday announced a new divisional structure, as part
of the company's ongoing 'operational excellence strategy.'
Former Eclipse COO Peg Billson has been appointed president and
general manager of the Eclipse Manufacturing Division, while Mike
McConnell, previously vice president of sales and marketing, will
serve as president and general manager of the Eclipse Customer
Division. Mark Borseth, Eclipse’s chief financial officer,
will oversee both divisions, termed "Process Improvement Teams" by
the Albuquerque, NM-based planemaker.
All three executives will continue to report to CEO Roel Pieper
as part of the executive management team. Pieper -- head of ETIRC,
a major foreign investor in Eclipse -- implemented a series of
tough cutbacks in the weeks following the July 28 ousting of
Eclipse founder Vern Raburn from his CEO role.
As ANN reported, Eclipse first laid off
approximately 190 temporary workers on its production line...
followed by the August 22 announcement of at least 650 positions
throughout the company's facilities in Albuquerque, and maintenance
centers in Gainesville, FL and Albany, NY.
The company also slashed its expected production rates for the
Eclipse 500 through 2008, in an effort to conserve cash ahead of an
expected round of outside funding. To that end, the planemaker also
postponed plans to upgrade older Eclipse 500s to Avio NG avionics,
pending receipt of that funding. Refunds to depositors who opted to
cancel their orders, in response to a May price increase, are also
on hold... leaving many position holders to consider legal
Pieper told customers Tuesday the swift changes are necessary,
if Eclipse is to survive its latest hardships.
"I have been directly involved in several turnaround efforts
over the course of my career and believe these changes will be
instrumental in driving worldclass manufacturing and a
superior customer experience. I have absolute confidence in this
leadership team’s ability to deliver the profitable results
this company requires," said Pieper.
The company has previously stated it plans to resume full
production rates in 2009, against its claimed order book of
approximately 2600 aircraft.