CDB Aviation names new CEO

CDB Aviation Aviation, a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., Limited (CDB Leasing), announced that the Board of Directors selected Jie Chen to become the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. Chen will take the helm in early January 2023, replacing Patrick Hannigan whose retirement caps six years of leading the evolution of CDB Aviation into a globally positioned top-tier lessor.

The announcement is the culmination of a planned transition that will ensure a smooth leadership changeover and lay a re-energised foundation for the lessor’s next phase of growth. “The Board and I are thrilled that Mr. Chen has elected to take on the important role of leading the exciting next stage of the platform’s development – this is an opportune moment for CDB Aviation to drive its growth momentum with the industry recovery in full swing,” said Hong Ma, Chairperson of CDB Leasing, the lessor’s shareholder. “We are highly confident that Mr. Chen will steer the organization successfully into the future, and we look forward to providing the support and resources that the talented leaders and colleagues of CDB Aviation will require to continue their efforts.”

Deploying more than three decades of exemplary aviation industry experience, Chen’s immediate focus will be on advancing collaboration with the lessor’s airline customers, shareholder, and other stakeholders to support the industry recovery while building on the team’s strong relationships and the strength of its full-service, global platform to capitalise on emergent market opportunities.

“I am honoured to be given the opportunity to lead CDB Aviation and its remarkable team in advancing the company’s long-term vision, building on a strong track record of business performance and market success, while leveraging the unique capabilities and resources of our shareholder,” said Chen. “With the industry’s rapidly evolving requirements, especially in the area of sustainability, our path forward will focus on delivering innovativeness and stewardship that meet the changing needs of the global airline sector and generate industry-leading shareholder value.”

Chen joins CDB Aviation from Air Lease Corporation (ALC), where he served as Executive Vice President, Managing Director of Asia and President of ALC Hong Kong, leading commercial and sales efforts in Asia, which included the execution of the company’s long-term strategy and the development of new and existing markets in the region. Prior to ALC, Mr. Chen worked at International Lease Finance Corporation, serving most recently as Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Asia, leading ILFC’s sales and marketing activities across Asia Pacific. Chen started his aviation career as a project manager in the leasing division of China International Trust & Investment Corporation. He holds a Master of Science degree in Management from the State University of New York.

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