GD exec tapped as new BAE leader

Linda Hudson's replacement as CEO of BAE Systems Inc. will be former GD Information Systems and Technology president Jerry DeMuro, who retired last year.

Jerry DeMuro was named president and CEO of BAE Systems Inc. today, replacing Linda Hudson, who is retiring.

DeMuro is the former leader of General Dynamics Information Systems and Technology group. He retired in February 2013.

Hudson announced her retirement in August and will step down Feb. 1, the day DeMuro’s appointment becomes effective. She will remain on as an advisor until the end of May and on the board of BAE Systems Inc. through April 2015.

She also is stepping down as a director of the company’s British parent, BAE Systems plc.

DeMuro also has been appointed executive director of BAE Systems plc and will serve on the company’s executive committee and on the board of BAE Systems Inc.  He will report to Ian King, chief executive of BAE Systems plc and Michael Chertoff, chairman of the board of BAE Systems Inc.

To comply with U.S. national security regulations, BAE Systems Inc. operates as an independent company with a separate board of directors because it is a foreign-owned business.

“Jerry is a proven global business leader who possesses the relationships and stature to ensure our customers’ challenges are understood and met,” King said in a statement.

The appointment to BAE marks a comeback of sorts for DeMuro, who left GD under a cloud.

The Information Systems and Technology group led by DeMuro had a very rough 2012, losing $1.2 billion in revenue. The group also reported a loss of $1.4 billion in 2012, compared to a profit of $1.2 billion in 2011.

But the bulk of the loss was from a write down of $2 billion in value related to acquisitions made by the group.

DeMuro retired after Phebe Novakovic became chairman and CEO in January 2013. She described the acquisition process as “somewhat broken.” DeMuro announced his retirement 20 days later.

To his credit, GD’s Information Systems and Technology group grew to over $10 billion in annual revenue under his leadership. The group also made about $8 billion worth of acquisitions during the 10 years he led the group.

The portfolio he built included secure mobile communication systems, information technology solutions and mission support services, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems.

Also, take out 2012, and GD Information Systems and Technology was a very strong performer for the company, racking up operating margins of better than 10 percent from 2006 through 2011.

So, it isn’t surprising that a one-year stumble wasn’t held against him.

“His experience successfully running complex businesses known for developing cutting-edge technology for diverse international, commercial and government customers will greatly benefit BAE Systems Inc. as it evolves its strategic focus toward expanding international and commercial business opportunities,” King said in his statement.