Jack Pelton, chairman, president and chief executive of Cessna, has retired and a search for his successor is under way.

Scott Donnelly, chairman of Cessna parent Textron, will run the business until a replacement is found.

Pelton joined Cessna in November 2000 as senior vice-president, product engineering, and oversaw Cessna's engineering and product development activities, including new aircraft development, design, experimental and production test flight, certifications and product improvements for all Cessna models.

He was named president and chief executive in 2003 and chairman in 2005.

Jack Pelton Cessna
 © Cessna
Pelton has retired from Cessna after more than a decade of service

Under his leadership Cessna introduced a number of new products including the Citation CJ4 light business jet, large-cabin Columbus - which was later mothballed - the Ten high-speed, super-midsize business jet, and the Skycatcher light sport aircraft.

Pelton also spearheaded a public relations and education campaign in late 2008 to restore the battered image of business aviation in the wake of the financial crisis.

Donnelly said: "Under Jack's leadership, Cessna achieved many significant programme and product milestones and strengthened its position as a thought leader in the aviation industry. We appreciate Jack's efforts and wish him the best in his future endeavours."

Source: Flight International