Textron‘s [TXT] board of directors yesterday announced that Chairman and CEO Lewis Campbell will retire on Dec. 1 and will be succeeded by CEO-elect Scott Donnelly, who is currently president and chief operating officer of the company.

Campbell, 63, remain as non-executive chairman until no later than the 2011 annual meeting of shareholders. Campbell has been Textron’s CEO for 11 years and has been with the company for 17 years.

Donnelly, 47, joined Textron in June 2008 as COO, becoming president in Jan. 2009, following a 19-year career with General Electric [GE], most recently as head of the company’s Aviation business.

“Scott has quickly proven himself an extremely decisive leader with tremendous strategic vision and operating acuity,” Campbell said in a statement. “He led the effort that put the Textron liquidity strategy on a strong path and spearheaded restructuring initiatives and operating improvements in our manufacturing businesses during these recent challenging times. With Scott’s assistance, we have also made important strides restoring Textron’s access to capital markets and enhancing the senior leadership team with a new CFO at Textron and a new leader at Bell.”

Textron’s exposure to the financial, general aviation and other non-defense markets put it under severe pressure following the decline of financial markets a year ago (Defense Daily, July 29).