Spirit AeroSystems Poaches a CEO from Lockheed

Airplane parts manufacturer Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE: SPR  ) lost a CEO today -- and gained a new one.

Exiting the CEO's chair is Jeff Turner, who has served as Spirit's chief executive officer since its very creation eight years ago. (Turner will remain on the Board of Directors). Taking his place is Larry A. Lawson, just poached from his former job as head of Lockheed Martin's (NYSE: LMT  ) aeronautics business, where he also ran the company's F-35 fighter jet program.

Lawson joins Spirit at what may be a propitious time. The company recently reported better-than-expected sales and earnings. Meanwhile, a potentially damaging strike at key customer Boeing has been averted -- twice! -- as both halves of the Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) workforce represented by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace have agreed to renew their contract with the company.

With Boeing resuming work on its 787 airliner, and its engineers and technical employees committed to staying on the job, a key risk has been removed from Spirit's business model, and new CEO Lawson has one less thing to worry about.

Spirit shares climbed 0.5% in response to the new Monday, closing at $18.89.


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