CAE’s Brown hands over reins to Parent

 - August 27, 2009, 11:25 AM

Robert Brown, president and CEO of Montreal-based pilot training provider and simulator manufacturer CAE, has announced his retirement effective at the end of this month. He will be succeeded by executive vice president and COO Marc Parent. Brown will remain with the company in an advisory capacity until the end of the year. “Bob Brown has brought financial discipline, healthy governance and strong growth to CAE,” said Lynton Wilson, CAE’s chairman of the board. “He has made diversification a strategic priority and CAE is now well positioned and enjoys the benefits of a strong balance sheet and a well balanced portfolio among markets, products, services and regions. On behalf of the Board, I want to thank him for his strong leadership.”

Under Brown’s guidance since 2004, the company’s annual revenue rose 77 percent, to more than $1.5 billion, and its backlog increased 39 percent to a record $2.7 billion. Also during that time CAE’s workforce has grown by more than 1,500, to 6,500 employees. Before his move to CAE, Brown had been with Bombardier, first as president of its business aircraft division and then as president and CEO of Bombardier Inc., a position from which he resigned in December 2002.

Parent, who has 25 years of experience in the aerospace industry, joined CAE in 2005 as group president for simulation products; he was promoted to his current position and elected to the board of directors last November. He is chairman of Aéro Montréal, Montréal’s aerospace cluster, vice chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada and a board member of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries.