Van’s Announces Management Changes


Van’s Aircraft has shifted its management staff, saying it is “the right time to adjust the focus and priorities of the management team” in a year of rapidly expanding sales. The company says kits sales have increased “nearly 250%” over the last two years.

As part of those changes, Chief Engineer Rian Johnson becomes President and Chief Technology Officer, tasked with “[leading] the company as a whole from the engineering and design perspective that has made Van’s a successful company for nearly 50 years.” At the same time, marketing and community relations manager Greg Hughes will assume the role of Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in addition to his former roles. Former Van’s President Mitch Lock will slide into a newly created role of Chief Financial Officer, “bringing greater focus to the critical work of managing the company’s financial operations and investments into the future,” according to the company. Johnson has been with the company for more than two decades; Hughes joined the company in 2018.

“We’ve always been an innovative company that’s been led from a solid, technical foundation and we will continue that culture into our future,” said Van’s Aircraft President and CTO Rian Johnson. “The singular purpose that has made Van’s Aircraft the defacto industry leader for nearly 50 years – designing great aircraft that people love to build and fly – remains our primary purpose and we will continue to bring new technology and capabilities to our designs and customers.”

“It’s a bit cliché to say, but also quite accurate,” said Van’s Aircraft Vice President and COO Greg Hughes. “The past 18 months have been a wild ride for everyone, including Van’s Aircraft. We’ve managed through natural disasters and supply chain challenges, plus expanded our manufacturing capacity and added significant new technology, all while building our team and growing rapidly as a company. We continue to be completely committed to our incredible customers and employees, with the sole purpose of delivering the best product possible. Nothing makes us happier than seeing each and every person who builds one of our aircraft kits with that famous RV Grin on their face.”

No other personnel changes have been announced.

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Marc Cook
Marc Cook is a veteran special-interest journalist who started as a staffer at AOPA Pilot in the late 1980s. Marc has built two airplanes, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Aviation Sportsman, and now owns a 180-hp, steam-gauge-adjacent GlaStar based in western Oregon. Marc has 5000 hours spread over 200-plus types and four decades of flying.


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