Lockheed Martin is parting ways with the executive who was about to become its CEO following an ethics investigation, the systems integration and aerospace giant said Friday.
Lockheed said in a statement that Christopher Kubasik, currently Lockheed's vice chairman, president and COO, had a "close personal relationship with a subordinate employee," a violation of Lockheed's Code of Ethics and Business Conduct. Kubasik, who was slated to become Lockheed's chief executive in January as part of a planned succession, has resigned from the company.
Marillyn Hewson, named Lockheed Martin's president and COO-elect earlier this year, was named a director Friday, and will now be CEO in the beginning of the new year. Hewson was most recently executive vice president, Electronic Systems, a business she'll continue to run through the end of 2012.
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Lockheed did not offer further details on the nature of Kubasik's violations.
In a statement, Robert J. Stevens, Lockheed's current chairman and CEO, said: "While I am deeply disappointed and saddened by Chris' actions, which have been inconsistent with our values and standards, our swift response to his improper conduct demonstrates our unyielding commitment to holding every employee accountable for their actions. Fortunately, we have a strong leadership team and a robust succession plan that allowed the board and me to react quickly and appropriately to this situation. Marillyn is an exceptional leader with impeccable credentials and deep knowledge of our business, customers, shareholders and employees.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that an internal whistleblower alerted the company to Kubasik's relationship with another employee who has since left the company. Lockheed hired an external firm to conduct the investigation. Kubasik will receive a $3.5 million severance.
Stevens will become executive chairman effective Jan. 1 and will work with Hewson on the chief executive transition.
Hewson has been with Lockheed since 1983 and has run its Electronic Systems business since January 2010. Kubasik previously ran the Electronic Systems business as well, was also Lockheed's chief financial officer, and earlier was vice president and controller. He originally joined Lockheed in 1999 following a career with Ernst & Young.
Lockheed Martin, based in Bethesda, Md., reported $46.5 billion in revenue for its fiscal 2011.
PUBLISHED NOV. 9, 2012
This story was updated on Nov. 9, 2012, at 5:32 p.m. PST, to include additional information regarding the whistleblower who alerted the company to Kubasik's relationship with another employee reported by the Wall Street Journal after press time.