Defence company BAE Systems is on the lookout for a new leader, but is yet to launch a formal recruitment process.
The group is considering its options to replace current chief executive Ian King.
A spokesperson for the company said yesterday: “We have not launched a formal succession process; we are simply scanning the horizon as we consider our longer-term needs.
“The board is fully supportive of the management team and strategy. Looking ahead at the future management structure is normal course of business for a well-run company.”
Earlier this year BAE approached the UK government over the possibility of appointing a foreign chief exec – because of the political implications that come from running a defence firm, any candidate for the top job must be run by parliament.
King won a 40.8 per cent pay rise in 2014, bringing his total take home pay for the year up to £3.5m, despite the company posting an 8.8 per cent drop in sales.
Meanwhile, BAE has cut the cost involved in producing a Typhoon jet by 20 per cent, and slowed the production rate in a bid to win more export customers.
The firm has almost finished a contract to deliver 129 of the planes to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), and is aiming to boost exports following completion of the deal. The group won a £112m extension to its arrangement with the MoD earlier this year.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, which first reported on the matter, sources say BAE and its European partners involved with the Typhoon are campaigning “aggressively” to win more customers.