* Aerospace president King to leave at end-June
* Marine unit boss Tony Wood to replace King
* Rolls sees good profit growth in 2013 after strong Q1
By Rhys Jones
LONDON, May 2 Britain's Rolls-Royce has
announced the surprise departure of Mark King as boss of its key
aerospace business, after only four months in charge of the
newly merged division.
King, who had spent 27 years at Rolls, was previously head
of its civil aerospace business and became chief of the combined
civil and defence aero division in January.
Rolls gave no reason for his departure. A company spokesman
said it was King's personal decision to leave, but did not say
if he would get a payoff and declined further comment. King
could not be reached for comment.
Rolls, the world's second-largest maker of aircraft engines
behind U.S. group General Electric, said King would be
replaced by Tony Wood, president of its marine unit, on May 13.
Wood, who has spent 12 years at Rolls, has previously worked as
an executive across its aerospace business.
Analyst Sandy Morris at brokerage Jefferies said King was "a
highly regarded member of the management team ... reflected in
the perceptions of investors and analysts alike", adding his
departure was "not going to pass unremarked".
Morris said he assumed King was leaving Rolls "for personal
Aerospace accounted for 8.8 billion pounds of the group's
12.2 billion revenue in 2012.
King led the relaunch of an engine designed for the largest
version of the Airbus's long-haul A350 to try to
puncture the success of Boeing's rival 777, backed by General
The overhaul boosted sales of the aircraft, but some
analysts have questioned whether the redesign went far enough.
King also oversaw a realignment in the market for smaller
jets triggered by a revival in the fortunes of U.S. supplier
Pratt & Whitney (part of United Tecchnologies ).
Rolls agreed to be bought out of a consortium supplying
engines for Airbus jets, but struck a deal to co-operate with
Pratt & Whitney for a future generation of engines.
Rolls is also engaged in a review of compliance procedures
after Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) launched an
investigation into claims that Rolls representatives paid bribes
to win airline engine contracts in Asia.
Late last year Rolls said it could face prosecution after
the SFO ordered it to conduct an internal inquiry into possible
bribery and corruption by intermediaries in China, Indonesia and
other overseas markets.
The group hired lawyer David Gold to review its compliance
Rolls, a major British exporter which dates back to 1884,
also said it was on track to report good profit growth in 2013
after a strong first quarter from its civil aerospace unit.
Last month it won a $1.6 billion order from British
Airways-parent IAG for Trent XWB engines to power 18 of
its new A350 jets.
The firm is expected to report a 2013 pretax profit of 1.74
billion pounds, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.
Shares in Rolls-Royce, which have risen 30 percent so far
this year, were flat at 1,133 pence by 0815, valuing the firm at
around 21.2 billion pounds.
Lawrie Haynes, boss of Rolls' nuclear unit, has been
appointed to a new position as president of marine and nuclear.