March 13, 2013 - Pat Waddick, Cirrus Aircraft executive vice president and chief operating officer, was named Cirrus president and COO Tuesday. In announcing the move, co-founder and CEO Dale Klapmeier said he was handing over day-to-day business responsibility to Waddick, who has been with the company since it was started more than 25 years ago.
"Now is the perfect time for me to hand over day-to-day responsibility of the business to Pat," Klapmeier said in a statement. "There is no more qualified, capable, or proven leader to take the enterprise to the next level."
Waddick joined the new company in 1988 as chief engineer for the original VK30 project, then was director of engineering for the ST50 turboprop aircraft. He became vice president of engineering in 1997 and led the SR20 and SR22 through design, certification, and production launch phases. More recently Waddick has shepherded advanced design and production startup of the Vision SF50 Jet program.
In his new position, Waddick will be responsible for sales and service, manufacturing and supply chain, product development, and administration.
"Pat has been with us since the beginning and has been an instrumental part of the leadership team at every stage, from airplane development to these most recent operational improvements," Klapmeier said. "He has the depth and breadth of vision to lead Cirrus to greater success ahead."
Klapmeier's new role will be to spend more time with Cirrus customers, new product development, and make access to flight a reality for more people around the world, he said.
"After prevailing over very challenging business conditions in the general aviation industry of the last several years, Cirrus has started an exciting new chapter," Klapmeier said. Cirrus recently launched the 2013 Generation Five SR22 and SR22T airplanes, and is looking to accelerate the jet program toward first flight of a conforming aircraft within the next year.
"This new role is quite an honor considering Cirrus' strong leadership position in general aviation," Waddick said, noting more than 5,300 customers to date. "Working closely with Dale and his compelling global vision and strategy - and with exceptional investment support - we are well positioned to fly even higher."
Waddick is an instrument-rated pilot with more than 25 years of flying experience.