By Marcelo Rochabrun
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Planemaker Embraer SA said on Monday that the head of its commercial aviation unit, John Slattery, was leaving the company to become chief executive of aircraft engine-maker GE Aviation , weeks after a $4.2 billion deal with Boeing collapsed.
Slattery had championed the Boeing-Embraer deal, and he was ready to become a Boeing executive in charge of the Embraer partnership once the deal closed.
But the deal, in which Boeing would take control of Embraer’s commercial planes unit, fell apart in April as the coronavirus ravaged the travel industry, leaving both companies pointing fingers at each other.
Embraer said it was promoting Arjan Meijer, the chief commercial officer of its commercial unit, to take over Slattery’s role.
Slattery joined Embraer in 2011 after working in the aircraft leasing industry, and in 2016 became the head of the commercial aviation unit, Embraer’s most famous and most profitable division.
Under his watch, Embraer launched its new line of jets, dubbed E2, which have been praised for their fuel efficiency but also lagged in sales, especially against its direct competitor, the Airbus A220.
Slattery will take over GE Aviation, the engine maker and lessor that is owned by General Electric, at a time when the aviation industry is facing an unprecedented crisis due to the coronavirus.
(Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Brad Haynes and Jonathan Oatis)