U.K. aerospace and defense group BAE Systems looks to be preparing the ground for Charles Woodburn, an oil industry executive, to become CEO. By hiring an outsider, it's taking a leaf from Rolls-Royce's playbook. Last year the aircraft engine maker appointed a chipmaking expert, Warren East, to help it overcome falling profits.
Woodburn's not on such a dramatic rescue mission, however, since incumbent CEO Ian King has steered BAE through a tricky period of falling U.K. and U.S. defense budgets. That doesn't mean it's all going to be smooth sailing for his prospective successor.