(Adds context and background)
By Brad Haynes
SAO PAULO Feb 16 Brazilian planemaker Embraer
SA on Thursday tapped Michael Amalfitano to lead its
struggling business jet division, turning for the second time in
a year to a leasing industry veteran for a senior leadership
Amalfitano, who ran aircraft leasing for Stonebriar
Commercial Finance and Banc of America Leasing, will replace
Marco Tulio Pellegrini, a longtime Embraer executive with an
engineering background who took over the division in 2014,
according to a securities filing.
The hiring of Amalfitano underscores that after investing
heavily to develop a new executive jet lineup over the past
decade, the company's focus is squarely on sales and marketing
to turn a profit with the money-losing division.
In June, Embraer promoted John Slattery from head of
commercial jet sales to head of that division. He joined Embraer
in 2011 after 15 years in commercial aircraft leasing.
Chief Executive Paulo Cesar Silva pledged last year to
reverse an operating loss in the executive jet division by
cutting costs and ending aggressive discounts, aiming to boost
profit margins even if that means lower revenue this year.
Pellegrini will assume another leadership position to be
announced shortly, Embraer said in its Thursday filing.
(Reporting by Brad Haynes; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Tom