By Valerie Insinna
(Reuters) -RTX Corp said on Thursday that Christopher Calio, the company’s current chief operating officer, would succeed Gregory Hayes as the aerospace and defense firm’s CEO.
Under Hayes, RTX – formerly known as Raytheon – became the largest defense company in the world by revenue following its 2020 merger with United Technologies Corp, booking $67 billion in sales last year.
Calio, 50, who became COO in March 2022, oversaw the realignment of the company into three business units: Raytheon, Pratt & Whitney and Collins Aerospace.
RTX expects the leadership transition to be complete by the annual shareholders meeting scheduled for May 2, when Hayes, 63, will become executive chairman of the board.
Calio was appointed to the company’s board on Thursday.
RTX shares edged slightly lower in low volume post-market trading.
Calio, a Pratt & Whitney veteran, will take the reins of RTX as the engine-making unit experiences financial turbulence due to manufacturing and durability issues facing its Geared Turbofan Engines. One issue concerning powdered metal could cost the company $6 billion in gross impact.
In October, RTX reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings as a strong performance at its Collins Aerospace business offset the losses at Pratt & Whitney. The company also approved a $10 billion share repurchase program that will be funded through short- and long-term debt.
Defense sales at the company’s Raytheon unit have seen a boost due to the war in Ukraine. RTX has received $3 billion of orders since Russia’s February 2022 invasion that are related to replenishing Ukraine and U.S. war stocks, and the company expects more, executives said in October.
Calio, who joined the company in 2005, was previously president of Pratt & Whitney after holding other leadership positions at the engine maker, including as head of its commercial engines business.
“Today’s announcement reflects the board’s deliberate, disciplined succession planning process,” Hayes said in a statement. “Chris has a deep understanding of the industry, our customers’ needs and our operations.”
Hayes spent 21 years at UTC, becoming its chief executive in 2014. He was named CEO of RTX after the merger in April 2020 and became RTX chairman in 2021.
During his tenure, RTX shares have risen 64%, outperforming the S&P Aerospace & Defense sub-index, which rose 53% in that time.
(Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru and Valerie Insinna in Washington; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri, Bill Berkrot and Lincoln Feast.)