Helo Hard Times Lead to Bell Chairman/CEO Dismissal

 - October 4, 2007, 10:23 AM

Citing a need to realign its executive lineup in the face of an economy that was already softening before it was rocked by the events of September 11, Textron has dismissed Bell Helicopter chairman and CEO Terry Stinson, filling his former position with John Murphey, Bell president and COO. No immediate replacement to fill Murphey’s former position has been named, though a company insider said the current thinking was that management reshuffling would likely continue. Textron chairman Lewis Campbell, who announced Stinson’s departure, cited a need for cost cutting and better program management at the rotorcraft maker. Textron has announced plans for 2,500 layoffs in the third quarter. Slow sales at Bell will cause Textron to take a $73 million charge against third-quarter earnings. In a Bell internal memo published by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Murphey warned that the company’s overall situation is “very serious,” predicting that Bell’s profits this year will be the lowest since 1992 and that its manufacturing workforce is expected to decline some 20 percent next year.