The hero of Aero

During his short tenure as CEO of Prague-based Aero Vodochody, Dieter John has achieved remarkable results. In this candid interview, Alan Warnes discovers the secrets of his success

Dieter John has stabilised Prague-based Aero Vodochody since taking over as the company's CEO in March 2019 

Dieter John took over as Chief Executive Officer at Prague-based Aero Vodochody in March 2019. It was a troubling time for the company then, with a lot of cash being poured into the new L-39NG advanced jet trainer, which had made its first flight only three months earlier, but no revenue was coming in. Penta, the owners of Aero Vodochody, needed a change at the top, just three years after appointing a new Italian management team.

In June 2020, a mere 15 months after Dieter joined, and with the company now on a sounder footing, Penta announced it was selling Aero to a Czech-Hungarian joint venture. Omnipol, one of the main defence companies in the Czech Republic and which already has a 50% share in the L-39NG, is set to buy 49% of Aero. Hungarian entrepreneur András Tombor will acquire the 51% controlling interest. Dieter will leave when the deal is finally sealed, having accomplished his mission. 

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