Piper Buttresses Its Commitment With New Appointment

Randy Groom will join Piper Aircraft as executive vp of sales on June 1, a move that signals Piper is, indeed, serious about leveraging its position as a GA airframer. Not that that was ever in question, but signing an aviation veteran with Groom's impressive resume is further proof that the local Piper dealer will be a vital stop for anyone shopping seriously for an airplane. With a product lineup now extending from the PiperSport light sport aircraft (LSA) to the developmental PiperJet single-engine compact jet, Piper is primed to call upon its heritage, which dates back to the iconic yellow Cub line of light singles that became the generic image for 'light airplane.' Groom, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma (also with a masters degree in business administration), was formerly president of Raytheon's Beech aircraft division and head of global customer support. He left Beech in 2007. Groom also spent 17 years at Piedmont, where he was in charge of sales and maintenance operations. He is a commercially rated pilot with more than 10,000 hours of experience. He said one of the reasons he chose Piper was its solid financial backing from Brunei-based Imprimus, which took financial control in just under a year ago in May 2009. Groom's first priority, he said, is to listen to dealers and aircraft operators to ascertain their specific needs and concerns.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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