BAE's Hudson plans retirement

Linda Hudson, president and CEO of BAE Systems Inc., will retire in early 2014. She has led the business since 2009. The search is on for her successor.

Linda Hudson, president and CEO of BAE Systems Inc., has announced her decision to retire at the end of the first quarter of 2014.

Hudson has led BAE’s North American business since 2009.

She’ll also step down as an executive member of the board but upon her retirement she'll become an outside director through April 2015, according to the BAE announcement.

“She has led the transformation of BAE Systems Inc. by streamlining the organization, reducing costs, increasing efficiency and speed to market, and diversifying the company’s portfolio of products and services,” said Ian King, CEO of BAE Systems plc. “She has done this while leading a culture change with a focus on delivering strong business performance and efficiency.”

BAE has launched a search for her successor.

Hudson joins an apparent generational leadership shift at major defense and IT contractors. Several of the largest companies in the market have seen chairman, CEO and leaders of major divisions retire in the last two or so years, including Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and Computer Sciences Corp.