BAE Systems Chief Operating Officer Charles Woodburn will assume responsibility for the British contractor’s defense operations and cybersecurity subsidiary in the U.K. ahead of CEO Ian King’s anticipated retirement in 2017, Reuters reported Wednesday.
Sarah Young writes a BAE spokeswoman told Reuters the company has informed employees that Woodburn will manage the strategy and performance of its defense projects across the country as well as oversee its Applied Intelligence business.
“The move allows Charles to focus on the execution of our company strategy as chief operating officer, allowing Ian as chief executive to focus on the continued strategic development of the group, ” the spokeswoman said, according to the publication.
The Financial Times reported Wednesday that Ian King, who has led BAE since 2008, plans to retire next year and Woodburn’s performance of his additional duties could help the company decide whether to select him as King’s successor.
Woodburn previously held a 20-year career in the oil and gas industry before he was appointed COO at BAE in February.