Eclipse Cuts Staff; Slows Production

In post-World War II years, Piper Aircraft patriarch William Piper surrendered financial control of his namesake company to creditors, and watched from an office in a hangar as expenses were shaved to bare minimums. Now, it appears Eclipse Aviation is experiencing a similar process, as new CEO Roel Pieper seeks to achieve "operational excellence" on his way toward "financial stability as soon as possible." One vendor has reportedly cited Eclipse as being in arrears for shipments and reduced its own financial goals accordingly. For his part, Pieper has reduced the Eclipse workforce by some 38 percent, laying off 650 employees from "all departments and facilities including Albuquerque, New Mexico; Gainesville, Florida; and Albany, New York." The layoffs will result in a production slowdown for the remainder of this year, with expectation that it will resume to current or higher levels next year. Pieper said, "I am confident this action will set the company on the path to profitability so that we can continue to lead the very light jet category."