Columbia Helicopters Inc. announced today that Jim Rankin, President and CEO, has resigned, effective June 30. The company has promoted Steve Bandy, Senior Vice President of Operations to President of the Aurora-based, global provider of heavy-lift helicopters services and MRO operator. The company is retiring the CEO position.
Rankin led Columbia during a downturn in the Oil and Gas industry which negatively affected the heavy-lift helicopter industry, as Columbia sought to diversify into broader global markets for aerial lift services, its Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul business, and the company’s continued expansion of its Government Services business.
“We are grateful for the leadership Jim has provided the past two and a half years,” said Columbia Helicopters’ Board Chair Stan Wilson. “While most of our competitors have been significantly impacted by the economic conditions in our industry, we have been able to grow our business while others have struggled.”
“It’s been my pleasure working with all of Columbia’s employees, the board and the Lematta family.” said Jim Rankin. “This new organizational structure, ideally positions Columbia for the foreseeable future and I know Steve Bandy will do a great job leading the company. I’m excited to watch as Columbia continues its legacy as the premier, heavy-lift helicopter operator in the years ahead.”
Columbia Helicopters has exhibited recent successes in expanding its fleet, acquiring several CH47s, and – with the recent award of additional aircraft in Afghanistan – the company is entering a new phase of their strategic plan, one that increases internal demands for execution and operational excellence.
Fulfilling New Leadership Opportunities
Bandy joined Columbia Helicopters in April of 1989 and has since served in a variety of roles across the company, starting as a Pilot and including his most recent role of Senior Vice President of Operations.
“Steve has over 28 years with Columbia, and has done a remarkable job of leading our operational departments including Flight Operations, Maintenance, and the QES group,” continued Chairman Wilson. “We can think of no one with more passion, drive, vision and dedication to our employees than Steve. We are confident with Steve at the helm, we will be able to be strategically positioned to continue to be the leader in our industry while continuing to exceed customer expectations.”
“I am excited to lead this great team as we move forward both operationally and strategically,” said Steve Bandy, President of Columbia Helicopters. “I’m grateful to the ownership Board and Columbia family for their confidence and trust in me.”
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