Thomas Kennedy to replace William Swanson as CEO of Raytheon Company

Dr. Thomas Kennedy
Dr. Thomas Kennedy

In what it billed as an “orderly leadership transition,” Raytheon announced on January 15 that its board of directors has elected Dr. Thomas Kennedy, 58, to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of Raytheon Company, effective March 31, 2014.

Kennedy will succeed William Swanson, who has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Raytheon Company since 2003, and who advised the Board of his intention to step down from his position as CEO in March, following his 65th birthday next month.

This change in Company leadership was undertaken as part of the Board’s orderly leadership transition planning process, said a company news release.

After March, Swanson will continue to serve as chairman of the board of directors while the company completes the transition to the new CEO. The Raytheon board also elected Kennedy to serve on the Raytheon Company board of Directors, effective January 15, 2014.

Kennedy has served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Raytheon since April 2013. He led the recent consolidation of Raytheon’s six businesses to four in order to enhance productivity, agility and affordability of the company’s operations, the news release noted.

Previously, Kennedy served as vice president of Raytheon Company and president of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS), one of the company’s four operating businesses. Before assuming the IDS leadership role in 2010, Kennedy served as vice president at Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems (SAS) business where he oversaw strategy and operations for the Tactical Airborne Systems business. Earlier, in his more than 30-year career with Raytheon, he led new business and program activities for several radar and electronic warfare system development programs.

A former captain in the U.S. Air Force, Kennedy holds a doctorate in engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Rutgers University and the Air Force Institute of Technology, respectively.

“Tom Kennedy is a proven leader with a broad understanding of key technologies, keen customer focus, and a deep understanding of Raytheon’s business,” said Admiral Vern Clark, Lead Director of Raytheon Company. “Raytheon is well-positioned both domestically and internationally, and with Tom’s experience, we are confident that he will lead our company successfully in this dynamic global business environment.”

On behalf of the Board and the Company, Admiral Clark thanked Bill Swanson for his more than 41 years of service to Raytheon and his outstanding service during the past 10 years as the company’s Chief Executive Officer.

“Under Bill’s leadership as CEO these past ten years, Raytheon has become a customer-focused leader in the aerospace and defense industry,” Clark added. “The company has achieved a strong balance sheet, disciplined program execution, close alignment with customer interests, leadership in global defense markets, and a reputation for sound governance and corporate responsibility. We will be fortunate to have Bill’s continued guidance as chairman of the board while the company completes a seamless CEO leadership transition.”