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Robinson Helicopter Company Announces Leadership Transition: Kurt Robinson Steps Into Advisory Role as David Smith Named President and CEO

February 27, 2024 11:00 AM EST

TORRANCE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Robinson Helicopter Company, Inc. (RHC), a global leader in civilian rotorcraft, announces Kurt Robinson, president and CEO of the privately-owned company, will transition to an advisory role and remain on the board of directors effective immediately. Concurrently, David Smith, formerly Robinson Helicopter’s vice president of operations, has been named the new president and CEO. This leadership transition marks a new chapter in the company's 50-year history. The last leadership transition occurred in 2010 when founder Frank Robinson retired, and Kurt Robinson was elected president and CEO by the board of directors. Smith becomes only the third to lead the civil aviation company in 50 years.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240227963052/en/

Kurt Robinson, president and CEO of the privately-owned Robinson Helicopter Company, transitions to an advisory role and remains on the board of directors. David Smith has been named the new president and CEO. This leadership transition marks a new chapter in the company's 50-year history. (Photo: Business Wire)

Kurt Robinson, president and CEO of the privately-owned Robinson Helicopter Company, transitions to an advisory role and remains on the board of directors. David Smith has been named the new president and CEO. This leadership transition marks a new chapter in the company's 50-year history. (Photo: Business Wire)

“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,” said Kurt Robinson. “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 is committed to maintaining Robinson's reputation for safety and reliability and building on the company’s legacy of innovation and growth. With his experience and fresh perspective, he plans to continue the culture of excellence and collaboration, driving the company forward with new product development initiatives, enhanced business systems, and expanded manufacturing capabilities. Smith recognizes the importance of staying at the forefront of technological advancements in the rotorcraft industry and ensuring that Robinson helicopters remain the benchmark for efficiency and performance. Additionally, Smith aims to strengthen relationships with customers, suppliers, and partners worldwide, positioning RHC as the preferred choice for civilian rotorcraft solutions.

“Leading Robinson Helicopter Company is an extraordinary privilege. With a 50-year legacy of success, I am honored to lead the company into the next 50 years of vertical flight,” said Smith. “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 Robinson Helicopter in early 2023 as vice president of operations and has nearly two decades of experience in aviation and rotorcraft. The majority of his career was spent at Bell Flight in multiple leadership roles across engineering, serving as program director for critical product developments as well as the vice president of operations modernization, leading organizational growth and profitability. Smith also led TRU Simulation + Training Inc., an affiliate of Textron Aviation, delivering pilot training solutions, including full-flight simulators and flight training devices for business aviation, rotorcraft, commercial air transport, and military markets.

Smith’s new role is effective immediately.

About Robinson Helicopter Company

For more than 50 years, Robinson Helicopter Company has been at the forefront of the helicopter industry by delivering safety-enhancing technologies, including OEM-designed crash-resistant fuel cells, 4K cockpit video cameras, autopilot systems, and NVG-compatible cockpits. Robinson is committed to developing, manufacturing, and supporting the most reliable and efficient helicopters in the industry. For additional information, visit www.robinsonheli.com.

Robyn E. Eagles
[email protected]
323-547-5102

Source: Robinson Helicopter Company, Inc.



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