Troubling Developments at Hawker Beechcraft

New president replaces aviation veteran.

Hawker Beechcraft
Hawker Beechcraft

Amidst ongoing financial turmoil at the company, Hawker Beechcraft announced the addition of recovery specialist Robert “Steve” Miller as CEO on Wednesday.

Miller, often cited as the “turnaround kid” for his work restructuring struggling companies in the steel, automotive and waste management industry, will take the reins at Beechcraft immediately. Former CEO Bill Boisture will remain Chairman of the company’s Hawker Beechcraft Corporation subsidiary.

A Wall Street Journal blog is also reporting that Hawker Beechcraft has hired bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers. The WSJ said Hawker has hired Kirkland & Ellis LLP, a law firm that has advised on large bankruptcies, such as United Airlines. The paper stressed that the move doesn’t necessarily indicate bankruptcy is imminent.

The turmoil at Hawker Beech comes as slow demand for business aircraft and large debt obligations continue to weigh on the company’s bottom line. It also comes on the heels of news that the company’s AT-6 lost out on a lucrative Air Force contract, estimated to grow to a potential worth of as much as $1 billion, to Embraer’s Super Tucano.

Hawker Beechcraft alleges unfair treatment in the deal, while Embraer contends the AT-6 did not fulfill the requirements of the bid.