Ex-IBM official to run UNC Inc. operations

October 01, 1994|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Sun Staff Writer

UNC Inc. announced yesterday it has appointed a former top IBM executive, Gerald M. Czarnecki, president and chief operating officer of the Annapolis-based jet engine and aircraft equipment company.

The move will allow the company's chairman and chief executive officer, Dan A. Colussy, to focus on acquisitions and other industrywide issues.

"I think he [Mr. Colussy] wants to be the coach rather than the quarterback," said Andrew D.W. Hill, chief investment officer of Wellington Hill Financial Inc., an investment management and research firm in Naples, Fla. "It frees up Colussy to do what he wants to do and sort of be the visionary," he said.

Mr. Czarnecki resigned unexpectedly from IBM in April, less than a year after joining the computer giant. At IBM, he was part of an executive committee that was assembled to engineer a turnaround in Big Blue's slumping fortunes. The 54-year-old Mr. Czarnecki had been senior vice president of administration and human resources at IBM, where he reported to the chairman and chief executive officer, Lewis V. Gerstner Jr.

Mr. Colussy said UNC Inc. has been searching for a president and chief operating officer for the last six to eight months and the appointment was not connected to a company restructuring announced in June.

"I felt that we needed very much to get a senior executive in the company to manage the day-to-day operation, so I could continue our growth program," he said. The company's sales have grown from $300 million to $550 million through acquisitions in the last year.

Mr. Colussy has held the three titles of chairman, chief executive officer and president since 1989 for the company that operates in 20 states.

A certified public accountant, Mr. Czarnecki also spent more than 20 years in the banking industry. He was recruited to IBM from Bank of America, where he was chairman of its Hawaii bank. He also held top positions at such banks as Continental Illinois Bank of Chicago, Republic Bank Corp. in Dallas, and Altus Bank in Mobile, Ala. He has also worked as president of Florida Computer Services.

At UNC, Mr. Czarnecki will be responsible for all of UNC's line operations as well as the marketing, controller and human resources departments.

"It certainly is a feather in the cap of UNC to get a gentleman with his distinguished background," said R. Bentley Offutt, president of Offutt Securities Inc., a Baltimore-based institutional research and brokerage firm.

"That's the type of person UNC needs right now for their restructuring program," he said.

UNC, which builds and rebuilds jet engines and aircraft components, has been hurt by the continuing recession in the aircraft equipment industry. In June, the company announced it would reduce its work force by about 300 positions and cut costs by $15 million a year.

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