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Bristow and Era announce leadership team for combined company

May 13, 2020  By Helicopters Staff

Bristow Group and Era Group outlined the new global organization structure and executive leadership team ahead of the completion of their merger, currently scheduled to close in mid-June 2020. The new entity, which will maintain the Bristow name, is set to become a worldwide leader in offshore helicopter transportation and search-and-rescue services. The combination remains subject to some remaining closing conditions, including approval by Bristow and Era shareholders.

“I look forward to working with some of the most talented and experienced leaders in our industry,” said Chris Bradshaw, president and CEO of Era, who will lead the newly combined company. “Together, we will foster a common culture built on a powerful foundation of unmatched safety, service, trust and teamwork, ready to begin a new chapter in innovative and efficient global helicopter services.”

Once the transaction closes, the combined company will be an executive team and a global functional organization, which are ultimately organized to empower local operations. The organization expects this structure to enhance collaboration and develop operational excellence at the local level through global standards and financial accountability.

Under this new structure, the executive leadership team will include:


Chris Bradshaw, currently serving as president and CEO for Era, will continue to hold these titles CEO for the combined company.

David Stepanek will become executive VP and chief operating officer for the combined company. In this role, Stepanek will have responsibility for global operations through each of the area managers including flight operations, maintenance, service delivery, supply chain management, training and information technology.

Alan Corbett will continue to lead as senior VP, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Australia, as well as search-and-rescue. Corbett will remain responsible for overseeing Bristow operations in Australia, Nigeria, Norway and the U.K., as well as Bristow’s UK search-and-rescue operations.

Operations under Stepanek and Corbett will be supported by a global functional organization led by the following executives:

Stuart Stavley, currently serving as Era Group senior VP, operations and fleet management, will become senior VP, global fleet management, responsible for standardized maintenance programs, aircraft specifications and lease agreements, as well as all Original Equipment Manufacturer relationships, quality control of global supply chain operations and aircraft acquisitions and sales.

Samantha Willenbacher will become senior VP and chief commercial officer. She is currently the VP of global commercial strategy for Bristow Group. In her new role, Willenbacher will be responsible for all customer-facing aspects of the business, bid proposals and market research and analysis.

Jennifer Whalen, currently senior VP and CFO for Era Group, will serve as senior VP and CFO of the new entity on an interim basis until a permanent CFO is named at a future date.

Crystal Gordon will become senior VP and general counsel for the combined company. She is currently serving as senior VP, general counsel and chief administrative officer for Era Group. Gordon will be responsible for legal, compliance, collective bargaining agreements, government relations and contract review and management.

Mary Wersebe, currently serving as VP, human resources for Bristow Group, will become senior VP and chief administrative officer. Wersebe will be responsible for human resources, benefits and compensation, communications and corporate social responsibility.

James Stottlemyer will become VP, health, safety and environment. He is currently serving as director, safety Americas and global safety performance for Bristow Group. Stottlemyer will be responsible for safety management systems, health and environment.


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