Industry: Aviation + Aerospace

McDermott + Bull’s Aviation + Aerospace Practice operates on a global level, serving leading companies in aerospace and defense, general, and commercial aviation. The Aviation + Aerospace practice is co-chaired by our CEO Rod McDermott and Principal Consultant Jared Moriarty. Both are private pilots and aviation enthusiasts who have spent years building strong relationships within the industry. The team is supported by Brent Lamb, formerly of Northrop Grumman, Michael Finegold, and Tori Leets, who have worked on executive recruitment engagements for some of the industry’s leading organizations worldwide.

Previous Clients:

Aftermarket Services Provided by OEMs in the Aviation + Aerospace Industry 

Rod McDermott, CEO of McDermott + Bull, had the opportunity to sit down with Kriya Shortt, Textron Aviation Senior Vice President, Global Customer Support on how the OEM has thrived in aftermarket services with…


Extraordinary Careers Video Series

The M+B Aviation + Aerospace Team brings to you a video series with Rod McDermott, CEO + Co-Founder of McDermott + Bull, interviewing top executives in the industry at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019. 

Zean Nielsen, CEO of Cirrus Aircraft, shares how a willingness to change industries and absorb information can lead to significant career development.

Jeff Knittel, CEO of Airbus Americas, shares how building an effective team can ultimately lead to personal career development and success.

Simon Caldecott, President + CEO of Piper Aircraft, shares how he got his start in the industry as an apprentice and reveals how this experience shaped his trajectory to become the executive he is today. 

Ron Draper, President + CEO of Textron Aviation, shares how he landed his dream job with the company after his 20-year tenure. 

Charlie Precourt, VP + GM of Propulsion Systems at Northrop Grumman, shares how tenacity and the pursuit of your passion through education can lead to extraordinary things in your career. 

Jack Pelton, CEO of EAA, reveals how to get noticed and prepare for an executive-level position. 

Mark Baker, President of AOPA, speaks with McDermott + Bull CEO, Rod McDermott, about how curiosity is the key to success. 

The Digital Transformation

As the aerospace industry faces challenges in the digital transformation, Elizabeth Xu, CTO of the CP Group, shares how other high-tech industries are effectively leading this effort. 

Download the full report

Jobs in Aviation Video Series – AirVenture 2017

McDermott + Bull Executive Search teamed up with FLYING to bring you thought-provoking insights on employment trends and how individuals who are passionate about Aviation + Aerospace can find opportunities in the industry.

Aviation + Aerospace Interviews

Michael Huerta, FAA Administrator

McDermott + Bull (MB): Please share your thoughts on the overall state of affairs in aviation and aerospace, both domestically and abroad.

Michael Huerta (MH): I remind our team regularly that aviation is at a pivotal, perhaps critical point. The primary factors include:

  1. Technology and the deployment of new technology. How can the industry manage risk in a period of rapid acceleration via the development of new technology? The industry and the FAA face real challenges effectively evaluating and deploying new technology at an appropriate pace for the unforgiving flight environment.
  2.  Retirement across the industry. The pilot population is facing retirement challenges. The same can be said for air traffic controllers, so many of whom were hired in the early 80’s. This retirement reality is creating great pressure on the system to hire and train replacements.
  3. The nature of the business itself. There has been huge consolidation across the industry. And the market dynamics have changed dramatically. There are all sorts of options that weren’t there just a few years ago.
  4. Redefinition of what the industry actually is. Today, we have the traditional sectors, Commercial and General Aviation, plus two new sectors, Commercial Space Travel and Drones. The result has been a dramatic expansion in the number of players and interest groups.

For full interview, click here.

Cass Anderson + Jeff Habib,
Intercontinental Aircraft Group

McDermott + Bull (MB): Please share with us some insights on a mentor, or two, that made a real difference in your life and career.

Jeff Habib (JH): Well, my parents of course. Somehow they instilled in me a sense of hard work and ethics. Second, I’d have to say my Navy experience. What an honor and a privilege it was to be trained and serve as a Navy pilot. And I will never forget one specific Commanding Officer (my “CO” or “Skipper”). He was from Pittsburgh (I cannot share his name) and had it all. Great athlete in his younger days (baseball), Naval Academy grad – a natural leader. All the JOs (Junior Officers) just wanted to be around him, fly with him, and hang out with him after hours. He was personable, charismatic, and a very good “stick.” He was also an exceptional, detail-oriented procedures guy. After he left the squadron, we all watched him continue to rise through the ranks and eventually move on to serve a major airline as a senior flight instructor. He taught, inspired and motivated many.

Cass Anderson: Perhaps the best part about selling corporate aircraft is the unique opportunity to meet and get to know some truly extraordinary people. The opportunity to get some “golden nuggets” from them is priceless. For example, one client in particular (I cannot share his name) talked about his thesis that one should quit as many things as possible and focus on what one does best. He described himself as a serial quitter who had stopped doing many things over the years and became a billionaire along the way. He gave me the confidence to quit a very good job and eventually to start IAG with Jeff.

For full interview, click here.

Jack Pelton, President & CEO of EAA

McDermott + Bull (MB): Can you tell us a little bit about mentors that made a difference in your life and career?

Jack Pelton (JP): On the personal front, my dad’s older brother Don Pelton, played a big part in my life when I was in high school. He was a teacher who didn’t have to deal with me every day and, as a result, he was able to step back and really help me see my true potential. From this early experience, I learned to seek out wise council and guidance, personally and professionally.

Later on, I had the great privilege and pleasure of working for legendary aviation industry leader, Pres Henne, recently retired SVP, Programs, Engineering and Testing at General Dynamics (and played critical roles on so many aircraft from the C-17 to the G650). He taught me what I was capable of, loading me up with enormous responsibility, but always with a “catch net” under me, just in case.

I’ve had the good fortune to have terrific mentors all my life. I am working hard to return the favor, paying it forward, as the saying goes, wherever I can.

For full interview, click here.

5 Leaders, 5 Questions, 5 Days Video Series – AirVenture 2016

Rhett Ross from Continental Motors, Nicolas Chabbert from Daher/Socata, Pat Waddick from Cirrus, Simon Caldecott from Piper, and Ken McKenzie from Airbus talk about the most pressing issues facing the industry today, share news about their organizations, and talk about what they are excited to see at AirVenture.

Day 1 Discussion

In 1974, the general aviation industry delivered nearly 14,000 new aircraft, and last year, a little north of 2,000. What will it take to grow these numbers again?

Day 2 Discussion

How can we get the North American pilot population growing again?     

Day 3 Discussion

With respect to your role as a leader in the Aviation + Aerospace Industry, what keeps you up at night, both challenges and opportunities? 

Day 4 Discussion

What technology breakthroughs do you see helping to drive industry growth?      

Day 5 Discussion

Please share some news with us about your company here at AirVenture and what you have seen or you are excited to see while you are here this year.

Get in touch with our team to see how we can help you.

What matters to you, matters to us.

Executive Search + Interim Leaders

Connect with Us

McDermott + Bull, Inc.
2 Venture, Suite 100
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 753-1700