Willis Lease Finance Corporation (WLFC) ("Willis Lease") announced today that Austin C. Willis, son of Charles F. Willis, has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of Willis Lease, effective April 1, 2022. Charles F. Willis, the founder and CEO of Willis Lease, will become the Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors upon Austin C. Willis assuming the position of CEO.
Austin C. Willis has had a broad and diverse aviation career, most recently serving as SVP of Corporate Development of Willis Lease since 2017, as well as sitting on Willis Lease’s Board since 2008. Previously, he was the founder and CEO of J.T. Power LLC, a privately held aviation parts and leasing company, which he started in 2004. Mr. Willis also served proudly as a ‘Green Beret’ in the 20th Special Forces Group. He earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
“I am pleased to make this transition. Austin has earned the recognition. After 50 years in the industry and numerous challenges as well as successes, I am looking forward to providing continued guidance to our company. There have always been inflection points, and these will continue,” said Charles F. Willis. “I am also looking forward to working on strategic programs, as well as working with the banking community and capital markets,” added Mr. Willis.
“Due to his successful past five years as SVP of Corporate Development, Austin C. Willis acquired a wealth of knowledge on Willis Lease and its current and future business lines,” said longtime Board member Dr. Hans Joerg Hunziker. “And, with his US Army proven leadership skills, Austin will certainly motivate and assist its most valuable staff to weather geopolitical storms and address new market opportunities,” added Dr. Hunziker.