December 09, 2013
Daniel Clare, who stepped in to take the reins of Jet Aviation in July 2011, is going back to Gulfstream as CFO after steering a restructuring that has returned the aviation services business to profitability.
Clare, formerly CFO at Gulfstream, moved over to sister company Jet Aviation to succeed Peter Edwards amidst a management shake-up and realignment of facilities. Both Gulfstream and Jet Aviation are General Dynamics companies.
Jet Aviation had operated at a loss as its completions business faced cost overruns and lengthy delays while its maintenance business struggled from the weak economy, particularly in Europe. This led to a number of changes at Jet Aviation, including a shifting of work from Zurich to Basel, Switzerland, the implementation of new systems and improved quality and production cycles.
In addition, Jet Aviation sold its facilities in Dusseldorf, Germany and Zurich to Cessna and those in London Biggin Hill to 328 Group. These moves, Clare had said, enabled the company to focus MRO on four major locations – St. Louis, Basel, Singapore and Dubai.
The results of those moves, both Clare and GD Chairman Phebe Novakovic say, drove Jet Aviation back to profitability. In fact, in the most recent GD earnings release, Novakovic reported to analysts that Jet Aviation has been profitable every quarter of this year. She also praised Jet Aviation management for turning around what she called a very troubled program.
As a result, GD is promoting from within Jet Aviation to succeed Clare. Robert Smith, who has been vice president and CFO of Jet Aviation since July 2012, will be the new president, effective Jan. 1. Smith is a proven leader within GD, formerly serving as vice president and CFO of GD’s San Diego-based shipbuilding, maintenance and repair company, NASSCO. In his new role, Smith will report to Joseph Lombardo, executive vice president of GD’s Aerospace group.
“Rob Smith has been an instrumental part of the management team at Jet Aviation since his arrival and I am confident that, under his leadership, the company will continue to differentiate itself,” Lombardo says.