GE Aviation
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CEO of GE Aviation Retires After 40 Years

June 16, 2020
David Joyce will retire after four decades with the company’s aviation department.

David Joyce, current CEO of GE Aviation, announced his retirement today, June 15. Joyce is a 40-year veteran at the company and has spent 12 years in the pilot’s chair as CEO. In a statement, GE announced he would be succeeded by John Slattery of Embraer. The move comes after layoffs at the division, which has seen demand for its commercial engines plummet as quarantined consumers stay home, impacting airline bottom lines.

According to GE, Joyce’s career saw the aviation business of the conglomerate rise to one of its foremost divisions, “doubling its revenue from $16.5 billion to $33 billion” and “growing total backlog from $26 billion to more than $260 billion.” Joyce also led the push for innovation at the company, GE said, by implementing advanced technology in GE Research, applying additive manufacturing across the company. Joyce, looking back, called his career at GE “a lifelong gift I will always cherish.”

Joyce’s successor, John Slattery, is currently president and CEO of Commercial Aviation at Embraer. According to Larry Culp, GE’s CEO, called Slattery “a proven aerospace leader whose international commercial experience, strategic acumen, and industry experience can make our leading Aviation franchise even stronger.”

Culp praised Joyce’s career at the aviation manufacturer and credited him with establishing it as “the world’s foremost aircraft engine franchise.” In a statement, Culp thanked Joyce for his service and credited Joyce’s mentorship: “His greatest legacy may be the thousands of leaders he has mentored and developed throughout his career. … GE Aviation’s foundation is strong thanks to his long-term vision to position our business and customers up for success.”

The regime change comes after GE Aviation announced two waves of layoffs in the wake of dramatically decreased demand for airplane engines caused by COVID-19. According to Culp, Slattery “is well-suited” to serve GE’s customers, suppliers, and partners “as Aviation executes through the current environment and eventual recovery.”

While the move will be formalized July 1, Slattery will only fully assume the role of CEO September 1. At that point, according to GE, Joyce will become non-executive chair of GE Aviation, GE vice chair, and advisor to GE research until December 31, after which he will become a strategic advisor to GE Aviation.

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