Wednesday 1 July 2020 7:48 am

Cobham chief to take top job at Babcock

Defence firm Babcock has announced that David Lockwood will take over from chief executive Archie Bethel in September.

Lockwood, who is currently chief executive of FTSE 250 defence firm Cobham, comes after Babcock swung to a £178m loss this year.

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Prior to Cobham, he was chief executive of tech firm Laird, and has previously held roles at Thales, BT and BAE Systems.

Company veteran Bethel announced he would step down in February after 16 years at the firm, which is one of the Ministry of Defence’s largest suppliers.

Bethel joined the FTSE 250 firm in 2004 and held a variety of posts, such as head of its maritime and technology division, before becoming the group’s chief in 2016.

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While at Babcock Marine, Bethel oversaw the building of the UK’s two new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers, the largest warships ever constructed for the Royal Navy.

Lockwood will join the company in August before taking over from his predecessor in September.

Babcock chair Ruth Cairnie said: “After an extensive search and selection process, I am delighted to welcome David to the company.

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“He brings wide-ranging knowledge of the defence and aviation markets, as well as a wealth of experience in both technology and innovation. His skills and industry expertise will help ensure the delivery of our operational performance and strategic objectives”.

Lockwood will be paid a base salary of £800,000 a year, and will be eligible for Babcock’s bonus scheme, up to 150 per cent of his base rate.