Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Goodrich CFO saw transformation from tires to aerospace

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Goodrich Corp. Chief Financial Officer Scott Kuechle recalls when he first started at the company about 25 years ago the firm was mainly in tires, commodity chemicals and industrial products. Aerospace defense was a “very small” component buried in its industrial business. AERO-ARMS-SUMMIT/

“It was really visionary by some of the leaders back then to understand what of those industries were really going to survive and thrive in the next generation of workers and where the economy was going,” he said in an interview at a Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit.

“And they had the foresight to basically sell off about 90 percent of the company and reinvest that along the way in the areas that actually could grow and could be sustainable long term,” Kuechle said. “It was an incredibly gutsy move to take the core of the company and basically reinvent it along the way.”

Kuechle called the transformation exciting to watch and described it as “an underappreciated reinvention of an American company.”

Rockwell Collins CEO: ex-fighter pilot sees need for pilotless aircraft

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On the surface, it would appear that a fighter pilot would have little interest in a remotely piloted aircraft, which more and more are being used in wars for reconnaissance and firing missiles.

It isn’t too big a leap to wonder whether in the future perhaps drones will take away jobs from fighter pilots.

L-3 chief Strianese: “I was not born a CEO”

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The Chief Executive Officer of L-3 Communications says he’s a “city kid” from New York who worked his way up from loading trucks in the Bronx as a college student to being in charge of  a large U.S. defense contractor. AERO-ARMS-SUMMIT/

And so he takes exception when people demonize CEOs just for the sake of it.

“We went though a period of time where CEOs were cast as the villains of the earth,” Michael Strianese said in an interview at the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit.

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