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Robinson Helicopter announces new leadership

On Tuesday Robinson Helicopter announced that Kurt Robinson, President and CEO, will transition to an advisory role and remain on the board of directors effective immediately. Robinson's former VP of operations, David Smith, has been named as the new president and CEO. Robinson Helicopter enters a new chapter in its 50-year history. The last leadership transition was in 2010 when founder Frank Robinson retired and Kurt Robinson was elected to the role of president and CEO by the board of directors. Smith will become the third leader of the civil aviation company in 50 years.RELATED STORIES:Robinson Helicopter celebrating 50 yearsFrank Robinson, founder of Robinson Helicopter Company, dies at 92 "Watching and helping our company grow from our living room to become a global leader in the helicopter industry is a fantastic lifetime achievement, and I am incredibly proud of my 40-year career with the company," Robinson said. "Moving forward, RHC requires a committed, strong leader who shares our company values, and we've found that leader in David Smith, who will be taking over the day-to-day leadership of the business as President and CEO. With his strategic experience and passion for our industry, David is well poised to lead Robinson Helicopter Company into an exciting future marked by continued innovation, success, and global leadership." Smith remains committed to maintaining the company's reputation for safety and reliability while building on its legacy of innovation and growth. With his experience and a fresh perspective, Smith plans to continue the Robinson culture of excellence and collaboration to drive the company forward with new product development initiatives, enhanced business systems and an expansion of manufacturing capabilities. He understands the importance of staying as a leader in technological advancements in the rotorcraft industry and ensuring that Robinson helicopters are the benchmark for efficiency and performance. Smith's goal is to bolster relationships with customers, suppliers and partners globally to position Robinson as a preferred choice for civilian rotorcraft solutions. "Leading Robinson Helicopter Company is an extraordinary privilege," Smith said. "With a 50-year legacy of success, I am honored to lead the company into the next 50 years of vertical flight. I look forward to working with the more than 400 service centers and dealers and the more than 1100 employees of RHC as we pursue new products, markets, partnerships, and technologies." Smith joined the company in early 2023 as VP of Operations and has almost two decades of experience in aviation and rotorcraft. For most of his career, Smith was with Bell Flight, serving numerous leadership roles across engineering, as program director for critical product developments and VP of operations modernization, leading organizational growth and profitability. He has led TRU Simulation + Training Inc., an affiliate of Textron Aviation, to deliver pilot training solutions, including full-flight simulators and flight training devices for business aviation, rotorcraft, commercial air transport and military markets. Smith will begin serving in his new position immediately.
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