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BAE Systems Picks Former General Dynamics Exec as New U.S. Chief

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Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) -- BAE Systems Plc, Europe’s largest defense company, named Jerry DeMuro to run its U.S. operations, replacing Linda Hudson, who announced plans to retire in August.

DeMuro, 58, will take over as president and chief executive officer at BAE Systems Inc. on Feb. 1, the London-based company said in a statement. DeMuro was previously executive vice president and corporate vice president at General Dynamics Corp., overseeing the Information Systems and Technology unit, after joining the defense contractor in 1999.

The U.S. is the single largest market for BAE, representing 40 percent of sales for the group. The U.S. unit based outside Washington operates under a special security arrangement, with a separate board to assure an arms length relationship to the parent and comply with Pentagon concerns over defense and intelligence matters.

DeMuro’s “experience will be of immense benefit as the company strives to maintain its strong performance,” BAE Systems CEO Ian King said in the statement.

Hudson, one of the first women to ascend to the ranks of a senior executive in the defense industry. Hudson, 63, will retain her spot on the board of the U.S. business until April 2015, while handing over the role at the parent’s board to DeMuro, BAE said. She has run the U.S. business since 2009 and joined the company in 2007, also coming from General Dynamics.

BAE was trading 0.9 percent lower in London at 427.60 pence as of 2:21 p.m. The stock advanced 22 percent last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Wall in London at rwall6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net