Bass steps down at Piper

June 10, 2009

Piper Staff Senior executives John Becker (left) and Kevin J. Gould (Right) are poised to become Piper's President and CEO.

James K. Bass will step down June 26 as Piper Aircraft president and CEO, and be replaced by two senior executives. Kevin J. Gould, currently vice president of operations, will become CEO, while John Becker, currently vice president of engineering, will become president.

The move comes five weeks after Piper Aircraft was sold by Maryland-based American Capital to Singapore-based Imprimis. Bass was hired by American Capital to turn Piper around and prepare it for sale. Piper is now part of an investment fund managed by Imprimis but funded by Brunei Darussalam to diversify that country’s economy.

Both Gould and Becker are pilots. Gould, the new CEO, joined Piper in 2005 as vice president for operations and overhauled the company’s manufacturing operations. He was previously the senior vice president for operations at Adam Aircraft Industries in Denver. He spent 12 years at Boeing in operational roles.

Becker joined Piper in 1989 and served as team leader in the design and development of the PiperJet. He also helped develop the Meridian and contributed to all Piper Aircraft models. A commercial pilot as well as an airframe and powerplant mechanic, Becker previously worked with Bombardier Learjet as a powerplant engineer and consultant on the Learjet 31A, 45, and 60.