Lockheed Martin is shaking-up the leadership of its aeronautics business, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme.
Larry Lawson, the company's executive vice president for aeronautics will leave on 5 April after 26 years on the job with Lockheed, taking the chief executive role at aerostructures supplier Spirit AeroSysteems.
"I'd like to thank Larry for the many contributions he's made to our success in his 26 years of dedicated service," says Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed's president and chief executive officer.
Lawson was promoted less than a year ago to lead the aeronautics segment after a two-year stint as F-35 programme manager. Prior to that, he served as Lockheed's F-22 Raptor programme manager for six years.
Orlando Carvalho is being appointed to lead Lockheed's aeronautics business area, the company says. Carvalho faces the challenge of shepherding the F-35 through an era of declining defence spending and improving the company's strained relationship with the Pentagon's F-35 joint programme office.
Other challenges Carvalho must contend with are the future of Lockheed's F-16 business and the C-130J programme. The F-16 line has been extended by several years due to F-35 developmental delays, but production will likely end in the years ahead. Meanwhile, the C-130J business is continuing to grow, but faces looming competition from Embraer's new KC-390.
Lorraine Martin will take over Carvalho's current position as the vice president and general manager of the F-35 Lightning II programme. Martin will have day-to-day responsibility for running the $396 billion effort. She previously led the C-130 and C-5 programmes, "where she was responsible for all aspects of the design, delivery and sustainment of these successful aircraft programs," Lockheed says.
Earlier in the year, Lockheed announced that Tom Burbage, executive vice president and general manager for F-35 programme integration, will retire at the end of March.