Industry & Services >> CEO Interviews >> October 4, 2010

Breeze-eastern Corporation – Mike Harlan

Mike Harlan is the President, CEO and a Director of Breeze-Eastern Corporation. Mr. Harlan joined Breeze-Eastern in 2009 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; he was appointed CEO and President, and elected to the board at the start of 2010. He is highly involved in improving the company's relationships with key customers and developing the company's market strategies, as well as in guiding the company's new product development activities and helping to shape its product and technology pathways, streamlining internal processes through Lean implementation and smarter use of information systems, developing and recruiting talented contributors, and improving integrated teamwork across the company. He also works to ensure the financial integrity of the company and build investor confidence in the company's future. Mr. Harlan's career includes service as an Aviation Maintenance Officer in the U.S. Navy, prior experience in the aerospace/defense industry, and the successful growth and profitability improvement of several engineering-based manufacturing businesses under his leadership. Mr. Harlan held a series of consulting and knowledge-building business development, marketing, and general management and business leadership roles at McKinsey & Co., AlliedSignal Aerospace, Thomas & Betts, Conforma Clad and Nomad Innovations. He also served on the boards of Conforma Clad and Nomad Innovations, both of which are privately owned. Throughout his career, Mr. Harlan has enjoyed conducting business in over 30 countries; he was born in California but has lived in over 20 locations, including Japan and London. Mr. Harlan received his B.S. in aerospace engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978 and his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1984. Profile
TWST: Would you give us a brief history of Breeze-Eastern and an overview of what the organization is doing today?

Mr. Harlan: Breeze-Eastern (BZC) was founded back in the 1920s, in the early days of