MD Helicopters has made it official. It has new management — again.
Just weeks after saying she was "very, very happy with the management team I have in place," the Mesa, Ariz. manufacturer’s CEO, Lynn Tilton, has replaced top members of that team. Out as president is Chuck Vehlow, the Boeing rotorcraft veteran appointed to that post less than four months ago. (He’s been with MD and Tilton’s distressed-debt investment firm Patriarch Partners since late 2005. That’s when he took on shared COO duties with David Langenhuizen, who left MD in late 2006.)
Also out are Peter Hokanson, who came on board as CFO in late 2005, and David Oglesbee as vice president of sales and marketing. Oglesbee was one of Tilton’s first hires after Patriarch bought control of MD from its Dutch owners in mid-2005. Also in that September 2005 class of hires were Robert Rene as CEO and Randy Kesterson as COO; they lasted about five months, after which Tilton took control personally as interim CEO.
With Vehlow gone, Tilton said she would continue as CEO. COO Ted Gee, hired in late 2006, will oversee day-to-day operating activities. She named John Calabrese, a managing director with the turnaround and crisis-management specialist firm TRG, as interim CFO. No replacement was named for Oglesbee. Tilton named Giles Wright as vice president of supply chain, reporting to Gee. In addition, Randy Walti joined MD from General Atomics as general counsel. "These changes in management are a catalyst that will accelerate our progress," Tilton said, "with a focus on the basics of people and process."