Textron has named Mike Redenbaugh as chief executive of Bell Helicopter, succeeding John Murphey, who has been named chairman emeritus. Redenbaugh joins Bell from Honeywell, where he was general manager of the propulsion systems business.

He will report to Textron chief operating officer Steve Loranger, who joined the multi-industry company last October from Honeywell, where he was president of the engines, systems and services group.

Redenbaugh was acting president of Honeywell until May, when the company appointed former United Space Alliance chief executive Russ Turner to head its engines, systems and services business. Murphey, who replaced Terry Stinson as Bell chief executive in September 2001, will focus on strategic business development and growth objectives.

Under Murphey's leadership, Bell has seen a turnaround in performance since Stinson was ousted because of problems with the V-22 and BA609 tiltrotor and AH-1Z/UH-1Y helicopter programmes. The H-1 helicopter upgrades are back on track, the V-22 has passed US Department of Defense flight-test hurdles and the BA609 has entered development flight-testing.

The main challenge Redenbaugh will face is the revital- isation of Bell's commercial helicopter business, which has lost market share to Eurocopter.

Source: Flight International