Cessna's Roger Whyte Retires, Succeeded by Cessna's Mark Paolucci as Sales and Marketing SVP; Brad Thress Promoted to Paolucci's Former Position

"The key to our success over the years is the talent of our people and our succession planning," Pelton said.


WICHITA, Kan., Oct. 26, 2010 – Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. company, announced today that Roger Whyte, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, will retire at the end of the year after 28 years with Cessna.

"Roger has been a key player and leader of Cessna's sales force for nearly three decades," said Jack Pelton, Cessna chairman, president and CEO. "Roger's passion for Cessna and its products is evidenced by Cessna's many years of success, and his customer relationship management skills have resulted in feedback which has shaped our new products. Roger's leadership has produced a world-class Cessna Sales and Marketing team, and he leaves behind a legacy that will not soon be forgotten. We wish him all the best in his retirement."

Replacing Whyte as senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, is Mark Paolucci, currently senior vice president, Customer Service, and Brad Thress, currently vice president, Product Support, will be promoted to senior vice president, Customer Service.

Paolucci has more than 30 years of experience at Cessna, having started as a design engineer working in the factory and then moving to Sales and Marketing. Since 2006, Mark has led Customer Service, presiding over the expansion of the organization while reducing costs through new and creative service offerings and internal consolidations.

"Mark has been an innovator throughout his career, most recently as the architect of our ServiceDirect program that has vastly changed how we deliver customer support, resulting No. 1 rankings in top third-party customer satisfaction surveys," Pelton said. "His breadth of experience will be instrumental in developing a stronger customer base as we reshape the company in these challenging times."

Paolucci has a bachelor's degree from Central Missouri State University and is a licensed pilot with multi-engine and instrument ratings.

Thress was named vice president, customer support in 2009 and has held positions in operations, engineering, marketing and flight operations. He joined Cessna in 1992 as a demonstration pilot. He became product marketing manager for the Citation X business jet in 1996. In 1999, He was promoted to program manager, responsible for development and certification of the Citation Sovereign business jet. In 2002 he advanced to senior product director, responsible for the production line start-up for the Sovereign. He assumed the position of vice president, Quality in 2003, and, was responsible for FAA compliance, process control and variation reduction initiatives. In 2006 he was named vice president, Component Operations, overseeing all manufacturing operations that supply components for aircraft assembly. He served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force prior to joining Cessna.

Thress has a bachelor's degree in Engineering from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Business Administration from Baker University.

"Brad has demonstrated the leadership needed to set new standards in customer satisfaction," Pelton said.

"The key to our success over the years is the talent of our people and our succession planning," Pelton said. "Our leadership position in the market is due to the stellar work and strong foundation built by leaders like Roger, Mark and Brad, and that makes for an exciting future."

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