In the midst of three new helicopter programs, Bell announced major changes to its executive leadership team in late August.
Bell is currently developing two new civil helicopters, the SLS or short light single and the 525 Relentless super-medium twin, as well as the V-280 Valor third-generation tiltrotor for the Army as part of the Pentagon’s joint multi-role (JMR) component of the future vertical lift program.
Pete Riley is retiring from the company as executive vice president of integrated operations, and Jeff Lowinger, executive vice president of engineering and commercial programs, is leaving Bell for an unspecified senior management position elsewhere.
Riley is being replaced by Gunnar Kleveland, who joined Bell nine years ago and has held a number of leadership roles in strategic sourcing, supply chain and logistics.
Lowinger’s job is being distributed between two executives widely viewed in Bell as rising stars, Matt Hasik and Dr. Cathy Ferrie.
Hasik assumes the role of senior vice president of commercial programs. He was most recently the program manager for the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor program and, according to Bell, has held several strategy, operations, engineering and program management positions during his seven-year tenure at the company, including leading significant design and development efforts for the V-22 and the 525. As chief engineer for the V-22, Hasik led efforts toward solving critical fleet readiness challenges with respect to gearboxes, blades and engine time-on-wing.
Ferrie is being promoted to executive vice president of engineering from her role as vice president of Bell’s XworX research and development arm. According to Bell, Ferrie led teams that made dramatic improvements in advanced research and development efforts for the OH-58 and Bell 407 armed aircraft demonstrators, next-generation rotor blade and hub technologies, as well as advanced materials and analytical tool development.