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Woodward names successor to longtime CEO

Woodward provides parts for military aircraft, including the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. (US Navy)

Woodward has named aerospace industry veteran Charles “Chip” Blankenship as its chairman, president, and CEO, replacing Thomas Gendron, who is retiring after 31 years with the company and 17 years as CEO, the US aircraft parts maker announced on 21 April.

Blankenship, 55, begins his new role on 9 May. He was CEO of aircraft parts supplier Arconic for more than a year, and spent 24 years at General Electric (GE), including as vice-president and general manager of commercial aircraft engines.

Blankenship is joining a company that generated net sales of USD542 million and net earnings of USD30 million in the first quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2022. Woodward is scheduled to release its second-quarter results on 2 May.

Gendron, 61, spent part of his tenure trying to merge Woodward, which makes control systems for commercial and military aircraft, with Hexcel, which produces composite materials for such platforms. However, the two companies called off the proposed combination in April 2020, citing unforeseen financial pressures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Woodward, which is based in Fort Collins, Colorado, has shown renewed interest in mergers and acquisitions (M&A). On 19 April, Woodward announced that it has named former GE executive William John Godsman as corporate vice-president for strategy and business development.

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