LOS ANGELES Commercial
airframe subcontractor Spirit AeroSystems Inc. has reached into
the military aircraft sector for a new president and chief
Larry A. Lawson, executive vice
president of the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics business segment
at Bethesda, Md.-based defense contractor Lockheed Martin
Corp., has been named to head Wichita, Kan.-based Spirit, one
of the worlds largest aerostructures builders.
Lawson will join Spirit on April
6, the day after he leaves Lockheed. He will replace current
chief executive Jeff Turner, who retires April 5.
Turner, who has been head of
Spirit since it started in 2005, largely from former Boeing Co.
operations, will remain on Spirits board. Boeing accounts
for some 85 percent of Spirits business, which includes
fuselages, propulsion sections, wings and propulsion products.
Spirit is generally considered the largest subcontractor to
Lawson has been in the aerospace
industry for more than 30 years, starting as an engineer on the
F-15 Eagle fighter program at the former McDonnell Douglas
Corp., now part of Boeing. At Lockheed, he was responsible for
the F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter program.
He also has overseen the
now-ended Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor aircraft production
program, the F-16 fighter, and the C-130 and C-5 military
New York-based investment firm
Cowen & Co. said this week in a note to investors that
despite Lawsons lack of experience on commercial aircraft
programs, he nevertheless has "extensive aircraft manufacturing
experience and is well regarded for the manufacturing
discipline he brought to the F-35 and for his ability as an