Textron Top Exec Shares Workers’ Pain; But Cessna Sees Lighter Skies Ahead

Executive bonuses are at the top of the news' hit list. And Cessna's parent company, Textron, has revealed through filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that its CEO Lewis Campbell saw his performance bonus steeply diminish last year. The overall downgrade amounted to a bottom-line pay cut of 16 percent-down to $9.8 million from $11.8 million in 2007. His pain likely didn't match that of Cessna's latest round of furloughed employees-most of whom were let go from the Citation CJ, Sovereign and Citation X production lines. In all, Cessna was forced to let go some 13 percent of its overall workforce last year. Also, Cessna has announced it will slow construction of the new production facility that is to be dedicated to the new Columbus super-midsize jet, and the development program has been set back by approximately six months. The glimmer of hope is that Cessna Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing Roger Whyte said, "We think we're probably close to the bottom." Speaking at a delivery ceremony in Germany, Whyte added, "We continue to take orders; people are continuing to buy airplanes; we continue to deliver airplanes."

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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