WASHINGTON ― Defense titan Lockheed Martin named a longtime company veteran as its acting chief financial officer Tuesday after Kenneth Possenriede suddenly retired.

Treasurer and Vice President John Mollard will temporarily take over for Possenriede, who became the CFO in 2019. Possenriede decided to immediately retire due to personal reasons, the company said in a news release.

Mollard worked for Lockheed for nearly four decades including as the corporate treasurer for the past five years.

“Given his nearly four decades with Lockheed Martin and familiarity with the company’s businesses, stakeholders and capital structure, John is uniquely suited to lead our finance organization while our search process is underway,” said Lockheed Martin’s chief executive, James Taiclet. “We are proud to have a deep-bench of talent and thank John for stepping into the CFO role on an interim basis.”

While the underlying reasons were unclear, observers noted the move follows Lockheed’s disclosure of a $225 million loss on a classified developmental aeronautics program on its July 26 quarterly earnings call.

Capital Alpha Partners analyst Byron Callan said in a note to investors Wednesday that the amount was “not large.” However, Callan speculated that if the loss was the cause of Possenriede’s departure, it could have been about how the situation was treated, and Callan questioned whether there had been earlier warnings that were missed.

The company said last month that the monetary loss, which stemmed from performance issues, surfaced after Lockheed performed a “deep dive” on the program in May and was reported to its board in June.

“At the conclusion of the review and based on the current negotiations with our customer, it was determined that the total costs to complete the current phase of the program are expected to exceed the contract price,” the company said in its quarterly filings.

Joe Gould is the Congress reporter for Defense News.

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