Northrop CEO Wes Bush to retire, Kathy Warden named successor

Northrop Grumman said Thursday that CEO Wes Bush will retire from the chief executive role on Jan. 1, 2019 and be succeeded by Chief Operating Officer Kathy Warden.

Bush will step down from the chief executive post after completing nine years at the helm and as Northrop is in the process of integrating Orbital ATK, which was acquired in June.

He will remain as chairman of the board of directors until July 2019 and Warden has been elected to the board effective immediately. Bush has been board chairman since July 2011.

Warden is a 10-year company veteran and became COO in September of last year, a role she moved up to from president of the mission systems segment.

She took on the mission systems leadership role in January 2016 when Northrop combined its former information systems and electronics systems segments to form mission systems. Warden led information systems as president at the time.

Upon her elevation to CEO, Warden will become the fourth woman to hold the chief executive role at one of the five biggest U.S. defense contractors. That group includes General Dynamics' Phebe Novakovic, Lockheed Martin's Marillyn Hewson and Boeing's defense segment chief Leanne Caret.

About the Author

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

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