Interim CEO named at Kopter

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Kopter Group P3 prototype
Kopter Group P3 prototype. (PHOTO: Kopter)

Use this oneItalian helicopter maker Leonardo has named Marco Viola as the interim CEO of its Swiss Kopter unit following the surprise departure of former CEO Andreas Lowenstein who decided to step down “to pursue further opportunities outside Leonardo”, the company said. His full-time successor is under evaluation, Leonardo added.

“In order to guarantee a swift and seamless transition, Leonardo will ensure the continuity of all activities and operations as well as of the integration progress, being Kopter a key part of Leonardo’s future success in the helicopter sector,” the company added.

Leonardo announced in April it closed its acquisition of Kopter Group for US$185 million plus an earn-out mechanism linked to certain milestones over the life of the programme, starting from 2022. Leonardo said the acquisition of Kopter “allows Leonardo to further strengthen its worldwide leadership and position in the rotorcraft sector.”

Primarily based in Switzerland, Kopter has been operating since 2009, originally designated Marenco Swiss Helicopter and later rebranded as Kopter Group AG in 2018. Within the helicopter division of Leonardo, Kopter will act as an autonomous legal entity and competence centre working in coordination with Leonardo.

Kopter’s SH09, a new single engine helicopter, was called the “perfect fit” for Leonardo’s line-up by officials prior to the sale’s closing.

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Matthew Driskill is the Editor of Asian Aviation and is based in Singapore. He has been an Asia-based journalist and content producer since 1990 for outlets including Reuters and the International Herald Tribune/New York Times and is a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong. He frequently appears on international broadcast outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC and has taught journalism at Hong Kong University and the American University of Paris. Driskill has received awards from the Associated Press for Investigative Reporting and Business Writing and in 1989 was named the John J. McCloy Fellow by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York where he earned his Master's Degree.

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