This week in leadership appointments from the airplane giants & 2 emerging tech firms

This week saw two of the largest aerospace companies in the world and another pair of emerging technology firms announce appointments for their senior leadership teams, including a promotion to the top from within.

Here is a recap of that executive movement across the government market.


Robert Geckle, formerly the chief operating officer for Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, was promoted to CEO of the aerospace giant’s subsidiary focused on federal government contracts.

Geckle succeeds Chris Emerson, a 25-year company veteran who will remain chairman of the board for the Arlington, Virginia-headquartered business.

Airbus U.S. Space & Defense operates under a special security agreement with its own board of directors so it can perform on and pursue classified business, particularly in the space and intelligence markets.


The world’s other main airplane maker looked externally to find a new vice president of business development for its defense, space and government services sales teams.

Boeing found Heidi Grant, the outgoing director of the Defense Department agency responsible for foreign military sales. Grant will join Boeing on Nov. 8 after 15 months of leadership at the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which has said her last day there is Nov. 7.

Grant will report to Leanne Caret, CEO of Boeing’s defense and space segment; and Ted Colbert, chief executive of the global services business.


This operator of commercial radar satellites for Earth observation missions has hired former Federal Emergency Management Agency executive Andy Read as global head of government solutions.

Read will lead ICEYE’s effort to help public sector organizations collect and act on natural disaster data, including through the company’s fleet of synthetic aperture radar satellites.

Prior to ICEYE, Read was a vice president at reinsurance company Guy Carpenter’s public sector practice. His most recent role at FEMA was executive officer for its Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration.

Sarcos Technology and Robotics

A now-public company as of Sept. 27, the exo-skeleton and mobile robot maker’s board of directors has elected former Navy acquisition chief James “Hondo” Geurts as executive vice chairman.

Geurts, who served in that role for the Navy from December 2017 to January 2021, will work with Sarcos’ leadership team and board on how to best position for opportunities in the defense market.

Sarcos is getting ready to commercially launch both a new full-body, battery-powered industrial exoskeleton and mobile robotic avatar system.

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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