The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) today announced the appointment of Ian Thomas to spearhead the operations of the company's new Integrated Defense Systems business in the UK.
A $23-billion business, Integrated Defense Systems was formed in July by the merger of Boeing's defense, space, intelligence and communications capabilities into a single unit. The decision reflects the way Boeing believes future defense systems will be designed, acquired and maintained with an emphasis on network-centric solutions. It also strengthens the company's customer-driven focus, capitalizes on its broad-based capabilities and better targets marketing and research and development opportunities.
Boeing's relationship with the UK stretches back four decades and is one of technical achievement and long-term partnerships producing mutual success. Through programs such as the Harrier jump-jet and the T-45 Goshawk trainer jet, Boeing and its British partners have introduced UK-developed military technology into the United States. At the same time, Boeing equipment such as the Chinook transport helicopter, C-17 transport aircraft and Apache attack helicopter have entered UK service.
Every year Boeing purchases an average of $2.3 billion of UK aerospace products and services from more than 200 partner and supplier companies. This sustains more than 40,000 high-tech jobs across the UK.
Ian Thomas said: "The Boeing Company is transforming itself to better meet the evolving requirements of our British customer. And the new Integrated Defense Systems organization will work to enhance Boeing's long-standing presence and partnership in the UK. In today's rapidly changing security environment, I am excited about how Boeing, working closely with government and British industry, can develop and offer a broad range of systems and capabilities to help support UK defense policy."
As a key part of Boeing's continuing globalization and expansion plans, the appointment of a UK country executive will be announced in the coming months. During the interim period, Thomas, 36, will take on the role of acting country executive.
Tom Bell, formerly President of Operations for Boeing Aerospace UK, has been promoted to a leadership position within the Aerospace Support division of IDS. He will be based in the United States.
Thomas joined Boeing in 2001 after four years in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon, where he helped devise and implement international security policy. Thomas holds a master's degree in international relations and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Cambridge.