In this installment, I want to again take a step back from Cessna and focus on Textron, its parent company. Textron started as a small textile company in 1923 and started diversification in 1953 after significant success from the textile boom in WWII. The strategy of purchasing smaller firms paid off, and in while in 1958 sales dropped 4%, earnings rose 24%. The company branched out to the aviation industry in 1960 with its acquisition of Bell Helicopter. At this time, the company was diversified rather into rather unrelated businesses.
With the appointment of new leadership in the late 1980s, Textron began to focus on related businesses. Today, the company is still very diversified, but now that diversification is related into aviation, vehicles, and aircraft simulators. A full list can be found at http://www.textron.com/about/our-businesses/index.php. Who would have imagined that a small textile company would grow into what it is today?