McDermott + Bull Recruits CEO for Panasonic Avionics

December 13, 2019 – Irvine, CA-based search firm McDermott + Bull has assisted in the placement of Ken Sain as CEO of Panasonic Avionics Corp. He succeeds Hideo Nakano, who has served as the company’s CEO since 2017 and as deputy CEO prior to that. The assignment was led by CEO Rod McDermott, managing director Jared Moriarty, vice president Brent Lamb and director Michael Finegold.

“We are confident that Ken is the right leader to guide Panasonic Avionics through its next stage of growth,” said Mr. McDermott. “Ken’s thorough experience in developing in-flight digital solutions coupled with his passion for leading change management initiatives are critical assets for this role.”

“We are excited to welcome Ken to the Panasonic team,” said Michael Moskowitz, chairman and CEO of Panasonic Corp. of North America, the parent company of Panasonic Avionics. “His entrepreneurial spirit and proven track record in aviation will undoubtedly accelerate Panasonic’s customer-centric innovation and the digital transformation journeys of its airline customers.”

Throughout his 25-year career, Mr. Sain has developed a broad mix of cross-functional leadership experience. He is recognized as a passionate, customer-focused, aviation technology business leader with deep expertise in airline operations and maintenance.

Mr. Sain spent the last 14 years of his career with Boeing in various roles, including strategy, technical engineering services and digital solutions. In his most recent role leading digital solutions and analytics, he oversaw significant growth in Boeing’s customer-facing digital solutions portfolio, using agile software development to launch new products and cloud-based solutions for airline and business aviation customers around the world. Prior to Boeing, he was a principal with global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. For more than 10 years, he specialized in business strategy, operations and top-line growth for major airlines, airline alliances and travel technology providers.

“The result is ideal for Panasonic as Ken brings a strong track record of leadership success, a unique understanding of digital solutions and very strong relationships across the industry,” said Mr. Moriarty. “Panasonic Avionics Corp.’s place as a top provider of in-flight entertainment and connectivity solutions promises to remain strong with Ken at the helm.”

“Throughout his career, Ken has demonstrated tremendous leadership in change management and business growth,” said Mr. Nakano. “This proven legacy of success, combined with his expertise in developing and launching in-flight digital solutions, will no doubt help accelerate our mission to make flying an experience everyone looks forward to.”

Panasonic Avionics Corp. is a global supplier of in-flight entertainment and communication systems. The company’s best-in-class solutions, supported by professional maintenance services, fully integrate with the cabin enabling its customers to deliver the ultimate travel experiences with a rich variety of entertainment choices, resulting in improved quality communication systems and solutions, reduced time-to-market and lower overall costs.


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“Panasonic Avionics created the aviation industry’s first in-flight entertainment solution 40 years ago and became the market leader through continuous innovation,” said Mr. Sain. “I’m both honored and excited to join the talented Panasonic team to build upon this success and redefine the passenger experience of the future with our airline customers.”

Top 50 Firm

McDermott + Bull, founded in 2001, is the 27th largest executive search firm in the Americas, where it serves clients in the technology, financial services, manufacturing, biotech and life sciences, retail and professional services sectors. Since the advent of MB Interim Leaders in 2011, McDermott + Bull has served both the permanent and interim needs of its clients. Some of the firm’s clients include Experian, First American Financial, Fluidmaster, Kelley Blue Book, SC Fuels, Thomas James Capital Homes, Trojan Battery, Union Bank and Vizio, among others.

Mr. McDermott, co-founder of the firm, has worked with leading companies in financial services, healthcare, aviation and aerospace, and technology, including Honeywell, Bombardier, Boeing, Cirrus, Silverado Senior Living, Union Bank, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust (now Union Bank), and First Republic.

Based in McDermott + Bull’s Southern California headquarters, Mr. Moriarty has worked with leading companies in aviation, aerospace and defense, and technology, including Bombardier, Panasonic and General Atomics, to name a few.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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