Schuster Plans To Retire from Hawker Beechcraft

 - November 20, 2008, 11:04 AM

Jim Schuster, Hawker Beechcraft’s chairman and CEO since June 2001, announced today that he notified the Wichita aircraft manufacturer’s board of his plans to retire from the company. “Earlier this month, I began discussing my retirement plans with our board. After nearly eight years as CEO, I feel the time is right,” Schuster said. He will continue to lead Hawker Beechcraft until the company identifies a successor, as well as remain a shareholder after he leaves the company. Under Schuster’s leadership the company reinvigorated the Hawker and Beechcraft brands, a move that helped to smooth the company’s transition from Raytheon Aircraft to Hawker Beechcraft when Raytheon sold the company to Goldman Sachs and Onex last year. Additionally, he is being credited with helping to generate a record order backlog in each of the last six consecutive quarters; expanding global operations; certifying 19 new aircraft in the last eight years; and increasing government business and special-mission aircraft sales. “We thank Jim for his dedicated service and contribution. He is a true leader who has positioned Hawker Beechcraft atop general aviation,” said Hawker Beechcraft chairman Sanjeev Mehra.