Embraer reintegrates commercial aviation business and replaces its CEO

Airframer was preparing to form a joint venture with Boeing, but it failed in April. John Slattery will be replaced by Arjan Meijer as its new CEO

Embraer announced on Monday, the beginning of the process of reintegration of the commercial aviation division, part of the company’s restructuring after the failed attempt to create two joint ventures with Boeing. As part of this new phase, the manufacturer also replaced Embraer Commercial Aviation CEO John Slattery with Arjan Meijer, until then CCO of the same division.

Slattery, who has led the commercial aviation business since July 2016, is leaving the company to assume the role of CEO of GE Aviation, which manufactures aircraft engines. At the American company, the Irish executive will replace David Joyce starting in September.

A longtime employee of the airline KLM, Meijer was hired by Embraer in 2016 as vice president of Commercial Aviation for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia. In the following year, he took over the operations of Embraer’s commercial division, taking care of the global sales and marketing area and participated in 35 successful sales campaigns for the company.

“Arjan has done a fantastic job as the head of sales for Embraer Commercial Aviation. He has the energy, international experience, and skillset to lead our commercial aviation business at this unique moment,” said Francisco Gomes Neto, Embraer’s president and CEO.

Meijer will have the challenge of reversing a period of few orders from the E2 family, which includes three new commercial jets, the E195-E2, the largest model of the type ever created by the company, the E190-E2 and the E175-E2, which has none customer so far.

Arjan Meijer, new CEO of Commercial Aviation Business (Embraer)

Failed partnership

The departure of John Slattery, who led the negotiations with Boeing, does not happen by chance weeks after the failure of the agreement. The US manufacturer, very indebted and with several internal problems, gave up following the agreement that provided for the purchase of 80% of the commercial division for $4.2 billion. The two companies were preparing the creation of a joint subsidiary, Boeing Brasil Commercial, which would be in charge of producing and marketing the current commercial aircraft and even developing new products such as an advanced turboprop.

To facilitate this transition, Embraer separated the commercial division at the end of 2019, creating a provisional company to manage these businesses, Yaborã Indústria Aeronáutica. The expectation is that with the approval of the regulatory authorities, the deal would be settled this year, but difficulties with the European Union, which insisted on analyzing the case for fear of harming competition in the sector, and the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, which made aviation companies plunging into billionaire losses would have made society unfeasible.

Now, the Brazilian company will have the mission of redesigning its strategy for the coming years and reversing some decisions taken, such as transferring production from the business aircraft line to the Gavião Peixoto unit, where the C-390 transport planes are manufactured.

John Slattery will assume the role of GE Aviation´s CEO