IAN KING APPOINTED CHIEF EXECUTIVE, BAE SYSTEMS PLC
27 Jun 2008. BAE Systems today announces the appointment of Ian King, currently Chief Operating Officer UK and Rest of World, as Chief Executive with effect from 1 September 2008. This follows the conclusion of an international benchmarking succession process and the Company’s announcement on 16 October 2007 that Mike Turner would step down as Chief Executive and retire from the Company at the end of August 2008.
On completion of the merger with Marconi in 1999, when BAE Systems was formed, Ian was appointed to the position of Group Strategy and Planning Director and he was instrumental in developing the successful Group strategy. Since January 2007, Ian has been Chief Operating Officer, with responsibility for the Group’s UK and Rest of World businesses, and a Director of the Company.
Commenting on the appointment Dick Olver, Chairman, BAE Systems plc, said: “Ian is a highly experienced business leader with a proven track record in our key home markets. His performance focus and depth of knowledge of the global defence industry will benefit the continued progression of the successful strategy that has been pursued by the Company during the course of Mike Turner’s leadership.
“I would like to thank Mike for his committed and dedicated service over 42 years; particularly over recent years for his part in the Company’s strong financial performance and strategic execution. The Board wishes Mike the greatest success as he sets about the next phase of his career.”
Some observers saw Ian King as the least likely candidate to succeed Mike Turner as he is part of the ‘Old Guard’ going back to Marconi times.
His choice may indicate a change in strategy at BAE now that the likely downturn in the US may start in 2009.
Europe, long neglected by BAE, even with John Weston’s strategy, may return as a focal point of BAE’s strategy along with the Middle East and Asia. A number of discussions during this year’s Eurosatory, along with our interview with Stefan Zoller focused on upcoming European consolidation. (See: BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.10 ISSUE 19, 16 May 2008, EADS DEFENCE & SECURITY – GOING GLOBAL)
It is worth repeating our last question to Stefan Zoller.
“Finally, do you foresee the advent of a centralised European Defence Procurement system which would streamline products onto common platforms and systems and thus reduce development and Through Life Support costs?”
“It all comes down to a simple fact: The less money you spend, the more efficiently you have to do that. So without any doubt, the shrinking defence budgets and the need for interoperability increase the importance of a joint European procurement system. Today, EDA already contributes to that goal by setting common technology standards and by providing a platform for common R&T and procurement efforts. Of course, we all know there is still large potential for improvement. But I do think that we have already made the first steps into the right direction and in the long run, I don’t see a viable alternative to that process. And if a single procurement should be realized, we feel that EADS is very well positioned: we are already present in the different nations, and we can also create the synergies within the company to ensure their requirements.” Stefan Zoller concluded.