““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
Cessna Shelves Citation Columbus Program
When Cessna chairman, CEO and president Jack Pelton said on April 27 that the company's large-cabin Citation Columbus program was being slowed, few could have imagined that two days later the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer would announce the project's suspension. Pelton said that the "very difficult decision" to stop work on the program will help "ensure focus is on our strong products in existing markets." He added that the Columbus project "still has great potential" and will be pursued "when the market recovers."
Teal Group aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia speculated that the project's suspension reflects either lack of confidence in the business jet market's recovery or fallout from Textron's finance division, which posted a $66 million loss in the first quarter.