VERO BEACH, Fla., April 1, 2010 – Randy Groom, an experienced senior executive and prominent aviation professional with more than 36 years of leadership roles in general aviation, is the new Executive Vice President of Piper Aircraft, Inc. He will report to Piper President & CEO Kevin J. Gould.
In making the announcement, Gould said that Piper selected Groom, 56, after an extensive search to find just the right fit to continue building and expanding Piper`s market share across all model lines and to take Piper`s customer experience to new levels of performance.
“Randy`s extensive experience and superb track record in General Aviation are the credentials that we looked for in filling this strategic position,” said Gould. “Randy knows the business from both sides of the aisle. As a seasoned corporate executive and a professional with extensive dealership experience, he has the breadth of knowledge and experience that are vital to Piper`s growth strategy. Perhaps most important, we want our customers to know that Randy's addition to the team is further evidence of our commitment to providing them industry-leading customer support."
Groom said his decision to join Piper centered on a number of key factors, including the company’s legacy, its commitment to recruiting and maintaining a committed and talented management and engineering team and Piper’s strong financial stability resulting from its recent acquisition by Imprimis. Imprimis – a corporate finance and investment management firm that operates from its offices in Singapore and Brunei Darussalam – acquired Piper last year.
"One of the main reasons I was attracted to Piper is because I love their products and really believe they are the right aircraft for these times,” said Groom. “No other General Aviation manufacturer has such a comprehensive lineup of single-engine aircraft in every class, ranging from a great looking LSA PiperSport clear up to the very cool and affordable Meridian turboprop. We also have the trusted and respected Seminole and Seneca V workhorse twins. And I can't wait to get involved with the PiperJet, which will provide our customers with truly breakthrough performance, comfort and efficiency."
Groom comes to Piper from Groom Aviation, LLC – a company he founded and that has worked with a wide variety of General Aviation businesses. At Groom Aviation, he and his team provided customers both strategic and tactical guidance to make the most out of existing markets and to uncover new markets to maximize business performance.
Groom’s extensive experience includes senior executive positions with Hawker Beechcraft Corp. (formerly Raytheon Aircraft Company), where he held positions of increasing responsibility, including President of Global Customer Service and Support and President of Beechcraft. On the dealer side, Groom held several senior sales and executive positions with Piedmont Hawthorne Aviation, Inc. – a longtime Beech dealer – culminating in his appointment as Senior Vice President after serving as Vice President of Aircraft Sales and in other management positions for Piedmont Hawthorne Aviation/Piedmont Aviation Services.
A graduate of Oklahoma State University, where he earned his B.S. and an M.B.A. in Marketing, Groom is an instrument-rated commercial pilot and has logged more than 10,000 accident-free hours in his 40 years of flying – 18 of those years as an aircraft owner. Groom worked his way through university as a flight instructor and charter pilot and was the youngest flight instructor for the U.S. Air Force at age 19.
Piper will bring a mockup of its new single-engine PiperJet business aircraft featuring a larger and improved cabin and sporting a new name that will be announced on the first day of the show.
While fourth quarter and full-year Piper deliveries will not be announced until February 2011, production activity during 2010 was up by more than 75 percent compared to 2009.
Berger will serve as interim CEO during search for an executive to lead the company.
Vincent P. Zarrella has been named director of Customer Service and Jim Slaton named senior manager of Parts Sales.