September 4, 2008
By Thomas B Haines
A management restructuring is Eclipse Aviation’s latest attempt to solidify the future of the troubled very light jet manufacturer.
CEO Roel Pieper says the new divisional structure is another step in the company’s “operational excellence strategy.”
Under the plan, Peg Billson, previously the company’s chief operating officer, has been appointed president and general manager of the Eclipse Manufacturing Division, and Mike McConnell, previously vice president of sales and marketing, will serve as president and general manager of the Eclipse Customer Division. In addition Mark Borseth, Eclipse’s chief financial officer, will lead the newly established Process Improvement Teams to ensure the success of both divisions. All three executives will continue to report to Pieper as part of the executive management team.
“I have been directly involved in several turnaround efforts over the course of my career and believe these changes will be instrumental in driving world-class 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.
Pieper replaced founder Vern Raburn in late July. Raburn’s resignation was a requirement from investors before new funds would be made available. At the time, Raburn was offered an executive-level position with Eclipse’s primary investor, a European firm that is attempting to develop the European market for VLJs. However, in August Raburn announced he was not accepting the position and was leaving the company completely.
AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines joined AOPA in 1988. He owns and flies a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, he has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.
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