WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin is replacing its top aeronautics executive, the company announced Monday, continuing the top-level turnover that has occurred under new CEO Marillyn Hewson.
Larry Lawson will retire April 5. His replacement in the role of executive vice president, Aeronautics, will be Orlando Carvalho.
The company also announced the appointment of Lorraine Martin as vice president and general manager of the F-35 Lightning II program. Both Carvalho and Martin will begin their roles immediately, though Lawson will stay on through the next three weeks to help the transition.
Lawson’s retirement after 26 years with the company marks the fourth high-profile retirement since Hewson took over at the start of the year.
In January, Rick Ambrose replaced Joanne Maguire as executive vice president, Space Systems, while Sondra Barbour replaced Linda Gooden as head of the Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS) business.
That same month, Lockheed announced that F-35 program head Tom Burbage would retire at the end of March, although no successor was appointed until today’s announcement that Martin would take over.
Lawson is leaving after less than a year on the job, having been appointed in April 2012. He previously managed a number of programs for the company, most notably the F-22 Raptor program, which he managed from 2004-2010.
“I’d like to thank Larry for the many contributions he’s made to our success in his 26 years of dedicated service,” Hewson wrote in today’s statement. “He has had a distinguished career at Lockheed Martin and we wish him the best in his retirement.”
“Orlando and Lorraine are impressive leaders who have consistently demonstrated their ability to build strong customer relationships, successfully manage complex programs, and inspire our teams,” Hewson wrote. “These appointments are examples of our deep bench of talent and demonstrate the value of our robust succession planning efforts.”
Both Carvalho and Martin come from Lockheed’s F-35 team, working together to develop the most expensive program in DoD history.
They enter their new roles at a point when tensions among Lockheed, DoD and the international partners on the program are running high. In recent weeks, U.S. Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the head of the F-35 Joint Program Office, has been openly critical of Lockheed for what he says are failures to adequately reduce costs.
Last Tuesday, Bogdan told a group of reporters that he intended to trim the size of the JPO team, and that he expected Lockheed and engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney to do the same.