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Gloucestershire Business News

New chief for Babcock

The aerospace and defence firm with two bases in Gloucestershire has appointed a new chief executive.

Babcock International Group plc, which has a base at Tewkesbury and at Gloucestershire Airport, has revealed that David Lockwood will take over the position from Archie Bethel who announced his retirement earlier this year.

Babcock base at Gloucestershire Airport

Mr Lockwood will join the company on August 17 and will become CEO on September 14, at which point former boss Mr Bethel will step down from the board.

David was previously CEO of Cobham plc, one of the UK's largest defence companies and a leading global technology and services innovator. Prior to that, he was CEO of Laird PLC, a FTSE 250 technology company, from 2012 to 2016.

His career includes senior management roles at BT Global Services, BAE Systems and Thales Corporation. David has a degree in mathematics from the University of York and is a chartered accountant. He is a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Royal Society of Arts and Commerce. He received an OBE for services to industry in Scotland in 2011.

David Lockwood

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

"I would like to thank Archie for his outstanding contribution to Babcock over 16 years. He enhanced our deep relationship with our customers, reflected in our record order book and pipeline, and made significant progress in internationalising the company and streamlining our portfolio. We have been very fortunate to have a leader with such profound knowledge of the business. Archie will retire from the board with our very best wishes and our sincere appreciation for everything he has achieved."

Archie Bethel said: "It has been an honour and a privilege to serve at Babcock, which makes a unique contribution to national security and to saving lives. I would like to thank all our employees worldwide for their hard work and commitment over my time of service, which has been exemplified in their outstanding response to the pandemic."

David Lockwood said: "I am looking forward to joining Babcock, a company I have long respected, which makes such an important contribution to the critical markets it serves.

"This is an exciting opportunity to position Babcock for further success and future growth, and to make full use of technology and innovation to support customers in the UK and internationally."

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