LE BOURGET, June 13, 2005 William S. Clapper, executive vice president of CFM International, has been made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, France's most prestigious award and the country's highest civilian honor.
Mr. Clapper is being recognized for his long-standing contributions to the development of commercial aviation and furthering the successful industrial cooperation between the United States and France. Mr. Jean-Paul Bchat, C.E.O. of Safran Group, represented the French Republic and President Jacques Chirac in making the award at a special ceremony at Safran headquarters in Paris.
CFM International is a 50/50 joint company of Snecma, a division of Safran, and GE Transportation, a division of General Electric Company.
The Legion of Honor was created by Napolon Bonaparte in l802 to recognize and reward individuals for their military service to their country. Today, the order is conferred upon men and women, either French citizens or foreigners, for outstanding achievements in military or civilian life.
"Safran was pleased to nominate Bill for admittance to the Legion of Honor," said Mr. Bechat. "He has played an pivotal role in the ongoing success of CFM International and his legacy will touch this product line for decades to come. This award serves as testament to the deep admiration we have for Bill's experience and wisdom and his boundless spirit of cooperation."
Mr. Clapper joined GE in 1969 after receiving a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering from West Virginia University. He also holds masters degrees in mechanical engineering and business administration from the University of Cincinnati.
Mr. Clapper has held a variety of increasingly responsible positions within GE, working with airlines, U.S. and foreign militaries, and NASA. His 36-year career has encompassed roles in engineering, commercial and advanced technical marketing, and business planning and market development, where his responsibilities included product technology plan integration, global business alliance strategies, and effective customer communication.
Mr. Clapper assumed his current position as CFM56 Project General Manager at GE in February 1995 and was elected Executive Vice President - GE for CFM.
As part of the CFM Executive Team, Mr. Clapper serves as the primary interface between GE and Snecma (Safran Group). He is also responsible for overseeing CFM56 program management, marketing and sales, communications, and after-sales support.
During his tenure, CFM has taken orders for 9,500 commercial and military engines; delivered nearly 8,700 engines, including three consecutive years of production rates at more than 1,000 engines per year; certified and introduced into service two new engine lines - the CFM56-5B/P and CFM56-7B - that power 13 different applications; launched three highly successful engine upgrade programs for which a combined total of 500 kits have been sold at a value of more than $625 million; launched Project TECH56 to lay the foundation for future upgrades; grew the customer base from less than 150 in 1994 to more than 400 today; and became the engine supplier of choice for traditional airlines, low cost carriers, and leasing companies around the world.