Alenia Aermacchi has named Benjamin R. Stone as the new president and CEO of its North America subsidiary, replacing Dr. Alan E. Calegari.

A story on Feb. 11 in Defense News said that Alenia Aermacchi North America had fired Calegari and was downsizing it’s business unit following the loss of “two major U.S. Air Force contracts, one for 38 new C-27J cargo planes for the Air National Guard and the other for 20 remanufactured G222 aircraft for the Afghan Air Force.”

In a statement issued today, the company said Alenia Aermacchi North America greatly appreciated the contributions of Dr. Calegari and that the Defense News article misrepresented his departure. Dr.Calegari “met the challenges of a difficult environment with outstanding leadership and was instrumental in the organizationā€™s achievement of several major milestones, including the partnerships for the Fixed Wing, Search and Rescue Program in Canada, and the pursuit of the Trainer Program with General Dynamics in the United States. Under his leadership a team was formed in the United States, Italy and in Kabul, Afghanistan for the recovery of the G222 Support Program. During the past few months Dr. Calegari indicated his desire to pursue other objectives, and the company, jointly with him, defined a transition plan to accommodate his request.”

The company said it remains committed to the North American market. “These opportunities include working together with General Dynamics C4 Systems for the upcoming U.S. Air Force T-X program; with General Dynamics Canada, Provincial Aerospace, and DRS Canada to reinforce Alenia’s interest to support the FWSAR replacement needs of Canada; and, exploring additional business opportunities offered by the Mexican market, considering the recent sale of C-27J to the Mexican Air Force.”