- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - The leader of Oregon helicopter and aviation company Erickson is leaving after an expansion, debt struggles and low share prices.

The Medford Mail Tribune (https://bit.ly/18iiwM2 ) reported Tuesday that Udo Rieder will be succeeded April 1 by Jeff Roberts, who will be president and CEO.

Rieder joined Erickson Aircrane in Central Point in 2008, and it went through a transformation.

It moved headquarters to Portland; bought aviation firms in the Willamette Valley and South America, became a publicly traded company, and dropped Aircrane from its name.

Shares hit $28.10 in May 2013 but were as low as $6.15 last week.

In February, Erickson laid off 150 employees, most in Southern Oregon.

Rieder said Erickson was hurt by slow business in three areas: military contracts, oil exploration and firefighting.

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