Defence and aerospace group Cobham appoints new chairman in end-of-year executive shake-up

Francesca Washtell
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Cobham is a British aerospace and defence company

Troubled defence and aerospace group Cobham has appointed a new chairman after the group's current chair, John Devaney, announced he will step down from the firm's board on 31 December.

Michael Wareing, who is a senior independent director at Cobham and a member of its remuneration committee, will take over as chairman from 1 January.

His tenure as chairman is likely to be short, holding the appointment "for a period no longer than that ending at the 2019 AGM".

Wareing is also a senior independent director and chairman of the audit committee of Intertek Group and was previously a director and audit committee chairman of Wolseley from 2009 to 2014.

Read more: Cobham share price rises as it poaches new finance boss David Mellors from QinetiQ

During his term as chairman, Wareing's primary role will be to support new chief executive and former Laird boss David Lockwood, who will start on 12 December, and new chief financial officer, David Mellors, who will start on 1 January, the company said.

The group's share price was up 1.2 per cent on the news to 161.9p.

Cobham Cobham | mobile image

Lockwood and Mellors were poached in August and June respectively with the hopes of turning the company around.

Read more: Cobham share price sinks as chief financial officer Simon Nicholls leaves for Wolseley

The Dorset-based defence giant has had a testing 2016 so far. Last month the group announced its second profit downgrade of the year after a "challenging" third quarter in which its wireless and satellite communications division underperformed.

In April, Cobham launched a £500m rights issue to combat problems the group was facing as a result of delayed shipments in its wireless communications business. This was as a result of lower demand from Australian oil and mining companies.

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