By Ben Olson
Quest Aircraft Company has announced Samuel Hill is planning to retire as CEO after Jan. 1, 2017. Skies Magazine reported that the transition has been long planned as part of Quest’s overall strategic plan. A search for a successor is currently underway.
“This is a good time for me to step aside,” Hill said. “The company is in good shape financially and demand for the Kodiak has grown significantly since 2013. We have a strong leadership team and a solid dealer network that represents us around the world.”
Hill joined Quest in late 2012, replacing then chairman of the board, Dave Vander Griend, who was serving as interim CEO. Hill originally planned to transition out of the company at the end of 2014, but as Quest continued to grow and demand for the Kodiak increased, the board asked him to stay on.
During his tenure, Hill oversaw key product enhancements and certifications, a steady increase in production, operational improvements and other initiatives, all contributing to the financial stability of the Sandpoint-based company.
In June, Quest completed Phase I of the expansion to their headquarters, adding 27,000 sq. ft. and bringing the current building size to 110,000 sq. ft. Phase II sees the addition of a 5,000 sq. ft. research and development hangar facility, which includes new office space and upgraded hangar work space.
The expansions were a result of new developments after Quest Aircraft Company was purchased by the Japanese conglomerate Setouchi Holdings in Feb. 2015. They produce the Kodiak aircraft, a versatile airplane designed for single pilot operation. Kodiaks are in service around the globe with charter and corporate operators, personal owners, skydiving operations, governments and humanitarian organizations.
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