WASHINGTON — Days after Harris completed its acquisition of Exelis, former Exelis CEO David Melcher has landed a new job as president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association.

"Dave is an exceptional leader who, with his balance of corporate and military experience, brings an outstanding record of executive achievement to AIA," said David Joyce, CEO of GE Aviation and chairman and president of AIA, in a prepared statement. "With Dave's guidance, AIA will continue to champion the aerospace and defense industry and its ability to advance innovation in civil aviation, space and defense."

A retired Lt. General in the US Army lieutenant general, Melcher joined ITT in 2008 as vice president of strategy and business development for ITT Defense and Information Solutions. When ITT spun off Exelis, Melcher became the new company's president and CEO.

"Our nation currently faces a number of critical global challenges and we must have a strong, vibrant aerospace and defense industry to keep our men and women in uniform safe and successful on the battlefield, ensure that more than two million airline passengers travel safely and efficiently every day, and enable humankind to explore the frontiers of space," Melcher said in a prepared statement.

Melcher has served four years on AIA's executive and technology committees.

Harris completed its acquisition of Exelis in May but Harris has not yet announced where the new venture, with 23,000 employees and expected annual sales in the $8 billion range, will be headquartered.

Under terms of the agreement, Exelis shareholders can convert each of their shares into $16.625 in cash and 0.1025 shares of Harris common stock, leaving Harris shareholders with 85 percent ownership and Exelis shareholders with 15 percent.

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