Textron Aviation announces leadership changes

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Textron Aviation's Scott Ernest is moving on as CEO of the local company to take over leadership of Textron's industrial segment and Textron Specialized Vehicle Inc. KELLEN JENKINS/ WBJ Textron Aviation's Scott Ernest is moving on as CEO of the local company to take over leadership of Textron's industrial segment and Textron Specialized Vehicle Inc. KELLEN JENKINS/ WBJ
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Scott Ernest, CEO of its Textron Aviation division in Wichita, has been named president and CEO of its industrial segment and Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc., the company announced Friday.

The company says in a press release that Ronald Draper has been promoted to be president and CEO of Textron Aviation in Wichita. 

Draper, who has been with Textron (NYSE: TXT) since 1999, has led manufacturing operations for Textron Aviation since 2012 and is currently senior vice president of integrated supply chain.

Ernest joined the company in 2011 as the CEO of Cessna Aircraft Co., replacing Jack Pelton who had left earlier in that year. 

He came to the Wichita planemaker after 29 years with General Electric Co., where he was vice president and general manager of global supply supply chain for GE Aviation.  

The company became Textron Aviation during Ernest’s time after Textron’s $1.4 billion purchase of locally based Beechcraft Corp. in 2013 and its subsequent merger with Cessna. 

Textron Aviation is the second-largest employer in Wichita, with around 9,000 local workers.

Ernest will replace Kevin Holleran at Textron Specialized Vehicles, who is moving on from the company. 

That division includes brands such as E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, Textron Off Road, Jacobsen, Cushman, and Textron Ground Support Equipment. 

Textron CEO Scott Donnelly says that Ernest’s leadership will be valued at the division as it continues to expand its product line and build out its network of dealers. 

And in Draper, Donnelly says in the release, the company has a leader in place to guide it through its own expected growth and product development. 

Ron Draper has a great depth of knowledge about the worldwide aviation business and has led several of Textron Aviation’s most impactful strategic initiatives,” Donnelly says. “He has driven solid gains for the business in recent years, including the successful integration of our Beechcraft and Cessna operations, expansion of our quality management systems and global sourcing strategies. I am confident he is the right choice for leading Textron Aviation through its next phases of product development and growth.” 

The change comes as the business jet industry gears up for its biggest event of the year, next week’s National Business Aviation Association annual convention.