Air Brake President Leaves, Announces Replacement

Air Brake President Leaves, Announces Replacement

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New York Air Brake President Michael Hawthorne is leaving his job for a similar post within the same parent company.

Hawthorne announced his departure to 7 News Tuesday morning.

He's taking a job as president of Bendix, the commercial vehicle side of parent company Knorr-Bremse's North American operations.

He spoke to 7 News anchor Jeff Nelson by phone from Cleveland, Ohio, where he begins transitioning into his new role.

Named to take his place, he said, is Ulisses Camilo, a native of New York who now lives in Canandaigua.

Hawthorne said Camilo has about 20 years in the rail business and more than 30 in industry and is "very capable, very smart, and great experience, so we're really excited to have him."

Camilo's roles have ranged "from development, project management, and all the way up through general management," Hawthorne said.

Camilo will spend the next few weeks learning his new job and officially takes over on July 6, Hawthorne said.

Hawthorne said his role at Bendix is the same, but the company is larger. "It'll be more of a challenge managing its size, but overall I'm very excited about it."

Hawthorne explained that the Germany-based Knorr-Bremse operates two divisions, one -- the one New York Air Brake belongs to -- is focused on rail vehicle systems, the other -- which Bendix is part of -- focuses on commercial vehicles, such as trucks and buses.

Economic leaders praised him, saying New York Air Brake has undergone a number of changes under Hawthorne's leadership.

"A great deal of change; technology has been approved substantially, just a whole bunch of things have gone on internally in the company to make it more competitive worldwide," said Don Alexander, Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency CEO.

As he leaves the company, Hawthorne says Air Brake is in fairly good shape.

"It's an amazingly strong company and I think very well positioned for the future, with the right products, the right services," he said, "and we are absolutely structured so that we can be a very healthy organization."

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