Her promotion is effective April 28 and she will succeed Mitch Synder, who will retire from Bell after nearly two decades of service, Textron said Monday.
Atherton served as Textron Systems’ president and CEO from 2017 to January 2023 and previously led Bell’s military business as executive vice president.
The U.S. Air Force Academy graduate has been credited with building teams at the company over the past 16 years.
“Under her leadership, Bell will continue its strong execution across military and commercial programs,” said Scott Donnelly, chairman and CEO of Textron.
Earlier in her career, Atherton worked at Air Combat Command’s requirements directorate for eight years and held a contracting officer role at the Air Force.