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Spirit AeroSystems Names Former Lockheed Executive Lawson as New Chief

03/19/2013 | 07:12am US/Eastern
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   By Tess Stynes 
 

Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. (>> Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc.) appointed former Lockheed Martin Corp. (>> Lockheed Martin Corporation) executive Larry A. Lawson as the aerospace company's new president and chief executive starting early next month.

Mr. Lawson will succeed Spirit AeroSystems President and Chief Executive Jeffrey L. Turner, who in November had unveiled plans to retire early this year and is expected to remain on the company's board. Mr. Turner has been CEO since the company was formed in 2005.

Spirit AeroSystems is a major supplier to Boeing Co. (>> The Boeing Company) and the Gulfstream unit of General Dynamics Corp. (>> General Dynamics Corporation), which like other plane makers have looked to drive down their own costs by subcontracting more work to firms like Spirit.

Mr. Lawson was formerly executive vice president of Lockheed Martin's aeronautics business segment. In his work at the defense company, Mr. Lawson oversaw key aircraft production programs including the F-35 and the F-22 Raptor.

Chairman Bob Johnson said, "The board sought a CEO armed with a strong record of operating and financial performance on both mature and new aircraft programs with the ability to take Spirit to the next level."

Spirit AeroSystems last month reported that its fourth-quarter profit was flat from a year earlier as a double-digit percentage rise in revenue muted by a rise in operating expenses.

Shares closed Monday at $18.80 and were inactive premarket. The stock is up 11% this year.

Write to Tess Stynes at Tess.Stynes@dowjones.com

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