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White House to nominate Textron Systems CEO to top DOD acquisition post

The White House said Tuesday it intends to nominate Textron Systems CEO Ellen Lord to the Defense Department's acquisition leadership team as DOD undergoes a reorganization of that function.

Pending Senate confirmation, she will initially take up the role of undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics held by Frank Kendall until January. She would become the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer if confirmed by the Senate.

Lord would subsequently move into the undersecretary of acquisition and sustainment position upon the completion of DOD's reorganization of the AT&L office slated for Feb. 1, 2018.

Under the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, the Pentagon is dividing the AT&L office into two new undersecretary offices: Research and Engineering and Acquisition and Sustainment.

Lord has led the estimated $1.7 billion Textron Systems segment of the Providence, R.I.-based conglomerate since 2012 and oversees a business that operates in markets such as defense, homeland security, aerospace and infrastructure protection. The segment's product line includes unmanned systems, weapons, electronics and intelligence tools.

Her long Textron career includes leadership of the defense systems business for two years and she also led Textron's unmanned systems subsidiary AAI Corp. for the preceding five years.

Textron subsequently has appointed former Bell Helicopter military business head Lisa Atherton as president and CEO of Textron Systems. She first joined Bell Helicopter in 2012 and started her career at Textron in 2007 in the defense systems business.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also find and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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