Lockheed Martin [LMT] on Wednesday said that Michele Evans has been tapped to lead the company’s largest business segment, succeeding Orlando Carvalho who will retire later this year after leading Aeronautics for the past five years.

Prior to being executive vice president of Aeronautics, Carvalho, 60, led the F-35 multi-role fighter program for the company for two years.

Michele Evans has been named to lead Lockheed Martin's Aeronautics segment effective Oct. 1. Photo: Lockheed Martin
Michele Evans has been named to lead Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics segment effective Oct. 1. Photo: Lockheed Martin

“I want to thank Orlando for his impressive contributions during his nearly 40 years with the company,” Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement. “”During his outstanding career Orlando has led some of our most important lines of business and programs, helping to grow our company and our leadership position in the industry.”

Evans, 53, is currently Carvalho’s deputy and is responsible for all programs within Aeronautics, including the F-35, F-22, F-16, C-130 and advanced development programs. Before joining Aeronautics three months ago, Evans was vice president and general manager for Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors at Lockheed Martin’s Rotary and Missions Systems business segment, overseeing strategy and execution on a number of programs including Littoral Combat Ship, Aegis Combat Systems, and sea-based missile defense.

The F-35 is Lockheed Martin’s largest program and a key growth driver now and into the future. The company expects the Aeronautics segment to generate between $20.7 billion and $21.2 billion in sales this year.

Loren Thompson, a consultant and analyst with the Lexington Institute, which received funding from defense companies such as Lockheed Martin, told Defense Daily in a brief interview that with the F-35 switching from the development and low-rate production in to full-rate production and sustainment the time is right for a switch in leadership at Aeronautics.

Evans previously worked at the Aeronautics segment with responsibility for the weapon system on the A-10 ground attack aircraft and avionics on the C-130 tanker and the F-35. She has more than 30 years with Lockheed Martin.

“Michele has led critical elements of our business, building an impressive record of leadership and strong customer relationships around the globe,” Hewson said. “Her appointment demonstrates the importance of our talent development and succession planning.”

Evans will take over Aeronautics on Oct. 1.