Ron Draper, Textron Aviation senior vice president of integrated supply chain, has been named president and CEO of the Wichita aircraft manufacturer.

Draper succeeds Scott Ernest, who is leaving for Textron’s Industrial Segment and Textron Specialized Vehicles, where he will serve as president and CEO.

Draper joined Textron in 1999 and held a variety of leadership roles in its business units before joining Textron Aviation in 2012.

“Ron Draper has a great depth of knowledge about the worldwide aviation business and has led several of Textron Aviation’s most impactful strategic initiatives,” said Textron chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly. “He has driven solid gains for the business in recent years, including the successful integration of our Beechcraft and Cessna operations, expansion of our quality management systems and global sourcing strategies. I’m confident he is the right choice for leading Textron Aviation through its next phases of product development and growth.”

At Textron Aviation, Draper led all aspects of manufacturing operations, including strategic sourcing, quality, support services and aftermarket parts, and oversaw manufacturing operations for the Beechcraft and Cessna product lines.

Ernest joined Textron Aviation in 2011 after 29 years at GE Aviation and led the company through one of its biggest changes and challenges – Textron’s purchase of the financially troubled Beechcraft and its merger with Cessna Aircraft. The combined business is the largest aircraft company in the world by fleet volume.

Rolland Vincent, president of consulting business Rolland Vincent Associates and a former vice president at Cessna, does not predict any fundamental strategic directional changes under Draper’s leadership.

After a long downturn in the business aviation industry, Textron Aviation has had a good year and sales have returned.

“Finally, it’s nice to see the sales coming back up,” Vincent said. “They’ve been turning it around getting sales done and keeping the white tails sold. We’re waiting for the [Citation] Longitude. I’m surprised it hasn’t been certified. I’m hoping they have the announcement at the NBAA Convention & Exhibition in Orlando. That’s taking longer than they expected and certainly we expected.”

In the meantime, one of the company’s largest challenges has been a supply chain and operational one, where some of its largest costs reside.

“They have a lot of models they build at a fairly low rate of production,” Vincent said. “I think there are some operational changes that can be made and probably some big decisions. Do they really need some of these more legacy models?”

Under Ernest, Textron Aviation introduced products such as the Cessna Sky Courier and the Cessna Denali.

“It reminds me a little bit of the old Cessna,” Vincent said.

At Textron Aviation, Ernest kept a fairly low profile and focused mostly on internal matters.

“I never saw him too much around the industry,” Vincent said. “He stayed close to home there, which is consistent with his background in operations.”

At Textron, Draper served as vice president of integrated supply chain and director of strategic sourcing for E-Z-GO, director of procurement of the V-22 program at Bell Helicopter and director of supply-chain production development at Cessna. Before joining the company, he was a captain in the U.S. Army, serving as a helicopter pilot and company commander.