Spirit AeroSystems CEO Tom Gentile leaves

  • After about seven years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Gentile
  • Pat Shanahan taking over temporarily
  • Search for a successor
  • Gentile kept it short and said 50 words

(exechange) — Wichita, Kansas, October 2, 2023 — Tom Gentile, chief executive of Spirit AeroSystems, leaves his position. As announced by Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, October 2, 2023, Thomas C. (Tom) Gentile has left his post as chief executive officer at the aerospace supplier, after about seven years in the role, effective September 30, 2023.

Generally speaking, it raises questions when a CEO leaves his post abruptly.

Spirit AeroSystems will undertake a search for a successor.

Tom Gentile’s duties as CEO will be taken over temporarily by Patrick M. (Pat) Shanahan, a former Senior Vice President, Supply Chain & Operations at The Boeing Company, as interim Chief Executive Officer.

Already a director

Shanahan has already been a member of the board of directors of Spirit AeroSystems. Generally speaking, most director-turned-CEO appointments occur following a sudden resignation of the outgoing CEO and signal a lack of preparedness on the company’s part to groom internal talent. Directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.

They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.

Having been a director, Shanahan understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Spirit AeroSystems’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

“Drive improved cash flow”

Spirit AeroSystems did not give an explicit reason for Tom Gentile’s departure from the CEO post. Shanahan stated: “I look forward to working closely with our stakeholders, the Board and the Spirit team to meet all of our customer commitments, build teamwork, stabilize operations and drive improved cash flow.”

Precise information regarding Tom Gentile’s future plans was not immediately available.

“Resigned/ceased to serve”

Spirit AeroSystems said: “Mr. Shanahan succeeds Thomas C. Gentile III as President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Gentile has resigned as a member of the Board, effective September 30, 2023.”

Spirit AeroSystems further said: “Effective as of September 30, 2023 (the “Separation Date”), Thomas C. Gentile III ceased to serve as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc. (the “Company”) and as a member of the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of the Company.”

Share price decline since October 2018

The announcement follows a decline in Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc.’s share price of 83% since October 2018.

In the position of CEO since 2016

Tom Gentile became CEO of the Company in 2016.


  • President and Chief Executive Officer, Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc. (2016-present)
  • Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc. (April 2016-August 2016)
  • President and Chief Operating Officer, General Electric Capital Corporation (2014-2016)
  • President and Chief Executive Officer, General Electric Healthcare Systems (2011-2014)
  • President and Chief Executive Officer, General Electric Aviation Services (2008-2011)
50 words by Tom Gentile

In the release announcing his departure as CEO of Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc., Tom Gentile received praise, thanks and good wishes.

In announcing his departure, Tom Gentile kept it short and said 50 words.

“Navigate a challenging macro environment”

Tom Gentile stated: “It has been my honor to lead Spirit, strengthen its capabilities, and grow its global enterprise. With positive market trends and opportunities ahead, I am as confident as ever in the team’s ability to effectively navigate a challenging macro environment and deliver on its commitments to our customers and shareholders.”

Push-out Score for Tom Gentile’s move determined

The Push-out Score indicates on a scale of 0 to 10 how likely it is that Tom Gentile was pushed out or felt pressure to leave his position.

exechange reached out to Spirit AeroSystems and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 41.2023 ($).