Sir Roger Carr will become the next chairman of BAE Systems (CREDIT: BAE Systems)

BAE Systems announces next chairman

Defence giant BAE Systems has confirmed the appointment of City veteran Sir Roger Carr as its next chairman.

The firm, which builds the Typhoon fighter jet and nuclear submarines and provides companies and governments with cyber-security solutions, announced today that Carr will replace Dick Olver, who has held the role for nine years.

The move follows calls from BAE's biggest shareholder, fund manager Invesco Perpetual, for Olver to stand down following the collapse of a merger with Europe's EADS, the owner of Airbus, last year.

BAE's senior independent director Nick Rose said Carr was the "outstanding" candidate with two decades of board-level experience.

He added: "His skills, reputation and relationships with investors and government ministers will be of considerable value to the company both at home and abroad."

Carr, 66, was chairman of Cadbury during its £10bn takeover by Kraft and has been chairman of British Gas owner Centrica since 2004. He was also president of the Confederation of British Industry lobby group but stepped down earlier this week.

He will join the BAE board as a non-executive director and chairman designate on 1 October and will succeed Olver in the first quarter of 2014. He will quit the role at Centrica next year.

The BAE post is one of the highest profiles in the City as the company employs about 100,000 people worldwide and is a major player in the US defence market.

Carr said he felt privileged to be offered the role, adding: "BAE Systems is strategically important not just for the UK but internationally, playing a key role in the defence industry in the US and in other parts of the world.

"I have long admired the company, which has a remarkable heritage for innovation and technology. It is well-positioned in a rapidly evolving industry to face uncertainties around defence budgets and has great opportunities in new geographies and technologies.

“It is my intention to build on these strong foundations in the years ahead."

Olver said: “I am delighted to hand over to Sir Roger who is an outstanding leader for this very important and complex world-class company.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at BAE Systems and I want to particularly commend the workforce and the executive team under the leadership of Ian King. BAE Systems’ employees form a remarkable pool of trained, expert talent.

“I look forward to pursuing other business interests, further supporting my passion for enhancing engineering and technology education in the UK, and, of course, continuing to focus on keeping our country economically strong, safe and competitive.”

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