WASHINGTON, March 19 Spirit AeroSystems Holdings
Inc on Tuesday named Larry Lawson as its new chief
executive officer and president, a day after Lockheed said it
was replacing Lawson as the head of its aeronautics division.
Lawson, 55, is due to start his new job at Spirit on April
6, a day after he leaves Lockheed.
He will succeed Jeff Turner, who has been CEO of Spirit
since its formation in 2005. Wichita, Kansas-based Spirit makes
fuselages, propulsion systems and other parts for commercial
aircraft. Turner announced last year that he planned to retire.
Spirit board Chairman Bob Johnson said the company was
looking for a CEO with a strong record of operating and
financial performance on mature and new aircraft programs, who
could help the company grow in the expanding commercial market.
"Larry met all of the board's criteria," Johnson said in a
statement. "He is a well-known and highly respected leader ...
and has outstanding experience managing multiple premier
aircraft platforms efficiently and profitably across a
Lawson, whose abrupt departure from Lockheed came amid
continuing tensions between the company and the U.S. Defense
Department over the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, said he aimed to
help Spirit expand in its core business areas while working to
drive down cost and expand new development programs.
Lawson began his career as a flight control engineer working
on the F-15 Eagle at McDonnell Douglas, which later became part
of Boeing Co. He also oversaw the F-16 and F-22 fighter
programs at Lockheed before heading the F-35 program for two
years. He had been in his job as executive vice president of
Lockheed's aeronautics business for just under a year.
Spirit AeroSystems is one of the world's largest designers
and manufacturers of aerostructures for commercial aircraft
outside the original equipment manufacturers.
Lockheed announced Monday that F-35 general manager Orlando
Carvalho would replace Lawson as head of the aeronautics