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Pratt & Whitney names new commercial exec amid launch of jet engine

Oct 2 (Reuters) - United Technologies Corp's Pratt & Whitney unit on Thursday named a new president of its commercial engines division in the midst of a crucial launch of a new engine for commercial jets.

Pratt appointed Gregory Gernhardt as president of Pratt & Whitney Commercial Engines, effective immediately. He replaces David Brantner, who "has decided to depart the company," Pratt said in a statement.

Pratt's new geared turbofan is helping revitalize its commercial engine business. The engine is offered on Airbus' A320neo narrow-body plane, which had its maiden flight last week, and other new regional jets.

Pratt has invested $1 billion developing the engine.

(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)