Review of 2012 - People Moves

We recall 2012’s highlights, lowlights, near misses and power plays, and bid some fond farewells.

 © LockheedMartin

UAV contests in Canada and Germany could yield quick divdends for the Heron


Marillyn Hewson was not Lockheed Martin’s first pick to replace Robert Stevens (on her right in the photo), who is retiring after a decade as chief executive. First choice was Chris Kubasik, but he was forced to resign after acknowledging an improper relationship with a subordinate. However, Hewson is well qualified for the role. She has managed two of Lockheed’s divisions and has served on the corporate leadership team. She also becomes the first woman to lead one of the five biggest US aerospace and defence companies.

Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin’s aeronautics division faces a challenge to improve strained relations with the customer of its most important product, the F-35. Hewson’s arrival as corporate chief may help, but so will fresh blood in the aeronautics sector. Ralph Heath stepped down as executive vice-president of the division in April, being replaced by Larry Lawson (second from right, next to his successor as F-35 programme manager, Orlando Carvalho).



Mick Maurer was named president of helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft in July, succeeding Jeffrey Pino who had overseen development of the CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter and Collier Trophy-winning X2 technology, selected for the S-97 Raider.

Maurer’s ascent to the top job followed a period at the helm of the company’s military systems business.



Airbus appointed Fabrice Brégier in June to replace former chief executive Tom Enders, who became the new chief of parent EADS. Brégier served as Enders’ understudy for two years, as Airbus struggled with the A380 and A400M. On top of those challenges, Brégier must get the A350 XWB family into flight test and manage a broad increase in production rates.


 © BillyPix


Jim Albaugh’s resignation was unexpected, but the selection of Ray Conner (above) as the next president and chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes was obvious. As he has led both the 747 and 777 programmes, Conner’s CV is a template for a top leadership role. He immediately adopted a more conservative approach to launching products than his engineering-focused predecessor, while at the same time aggressively ramping-up production of existing models.


 © Chevrolet


At perhaps its most crucial moment, Bombardier turned to an automotive executive from Montreal working in South Korea. Mike Arcamone returned to his hometown from leading General Motors Daewoo in Seoul. He inherits a company working to deliver the CSeries, a potential genre-busting aircraft that has been slow to attract sales compared with other narrowbodies in the market. At the same time, Arcamone also must usher two new Learjet models into service in 2013 and continue development of the Global 7000 and 8000.

Flight International 14 February 2012

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