Lawson, who was executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics business segment, will take the place of Jeff Turner. Turner was Spirit's CEO since the company was formed in 2005. Turner is expected to stay on the company's board of directors.
"The board sought a CEO armed with a strong record of operating and financial performance on both mature and new aircraft programs with the ability to take Spirit to the next level," said Bob Johnson, board chairman of Spirit AeroSystems in a press release. "Larry met all of the board's criteria. He is a well-known and highly respected leader in the industry and has outstanding experience managing multiple premier aircraft platforms efficiently and profitably across a large-scale business."
More on Lawson from Spirit Aerosystems:
Lawson began his career as a flight control engineer working on the F-15 Eagle at McDonnell Douglas. He has since held a broad range of leadership positions in engineering, advanced development, business development, and program management in a career spanning more than 30 years. In his work at Lockheed Martin, Lawson has overseen key aircraft production programs such as the F-35, F-22, F-16, C-130J, and C-5, including highly classified programs in the world-renowned Skunk Works® organization. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics segment reported $15 billion in revenue in 2012.
He holds a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University, where he also serves on the board of trustees, has a master's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri, and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program and an MIT Seminar XXI Fellow. While he was executive vice president/general manager of the F-22 Raptor, the program was awarded the Collier Trophy as the most significant accomplishment in aerospace for 2006.
"The board wishes to express warm thanks to Jeff Turner for his dedication as CEO, and for his vision and leadership in creating Spirit by transforming a former OEM supply division into a premier aerostructures manufacturer," said Johnson. "Jeff has built a truly world class business in Spirit."
Spirit AeroSystems is one of the world's largest non-OEM designers and manufacturers of aerostructures for commercial aircraft. The company has more than $5 billion in annual revenue with a current backlog in excess of $35 billion. Every Boeing commercial aircraft in production contains Spirit hardware, as does a majority of the Airbus fleet.