Lantis Out At Columbia Aircraft
Columbia Aircraft has replaced its CEO and announced a four-to-six-week furlough of about 25 percent of its workforce as part of a major restructuring bid. The company will remain in operation and continue to produce airplanes but under new leadership. Bing Lantis has stepped down as CEO "to attend to family matters and other personal interests," according to the company. He's been replaced by Wan Abdul Majid, who the release described as a "long-time Columbia and aviation industry veteran." Earlier this month, the company announced the permanent layoff of 59 staff as part of a bid to restore profitability. It was blamed on the effects of a freak hail storm and the delay in certification of the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit version of the aircraft. The latest announcement doesn't stop at the corner office and shop floor however. The news release says the company also now has a new Chief Restructuring Officer, Carl Young, Chief Financial Officer, Michael Culver and Chief Operating Officer, Rich Reighard. The furlough is taking place while the Bend, Ore. plant is reorganized to implement "lean manufacturing and lean enterprise process improvements." Wajid said the furloughed employees will continue to receive company benefits and he expects to recall them all within four to six weeks. It's offering training bonuses and incentives to lure the people back. “Our people are our most valuable resource,” said Majid. “However, the nature of the aviation industry and the realities of our current business situation require that we take a number of critical short-term actions to ensure our long-term success.