Sugar announces retirement from Northrop Grumman

President and COO Wesley Bush tapped as successor

Ronald Sugar will step down as chairman and chief executive officer of Northrop Grumman Corp. effective Dec. 31, 2009. He will be succeeded by Wesley Bush, currently president and chief operating officer.

Sugar will assume the title of chairman emeritus effective Jan. 1, 2010, and will formally retire from the company the following June, after 29 years of service with Northrop Grumman and its predecessor companies, an announcement made Sept. 16 said.

Bush immediately joins the Northrop Grumman board, which also elected Lewis Coleman, currently the lead independent director, to the role of non-executive chairman, effective Jan. 1, 2010.

Sugar’s resignation as chairman, CEO and member of the board of directors is designed to facilitate an orderly transition, the announcement said. Sugar will continue as an employee officer advising the company until his actual retirement date.

During Sugar’s tenure as CEO, Northrop Grumman effectively integrated multiple acquired companies as it developed systems and technologies critical to the nation’s security, the announcement said.

The company also expanded sales from $26 billion to nearly $35 billion to become the nation’s second largest defense company by revenue. During this time, Northrop Grumman also strengthened its balance sheet to achieve the highest credit rating in the company’s history.

Sugar, 61, joined Northrop Grumman following its acquisition of Litton Industries. He previously held executive positions at TRW Inc.

Bush, 48, joined the company in 1987, and rose to positions of increasing responsibility, including serving as sector president, chief financial officer, and most recently president and chief operating officer.

Northrop Grumman, of Los Angeles, ranks No. 3 on Washington Technology’s 2009 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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