Latest News | 12 April 2023

Rolls-Royce announces new civil aerospace chief

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Rolls-Royce has appointed a new head of its civil aerospace business as part of a series of changes to its executive team.

Following the recent launch of a transformation programme, the engineering giant has appointed Rob Watson as president of the civil aerospace business, which is based in Derby.

Rob joined the firm’s executive team last year as president of Rolls-Royce Electrical.

He has been with the firm for 13 years and previously held leadership positions in defence aerospace, as well as working as chief of staff to the chief executive.

Rob, who has spent the past five years building the group’s capabilities in electric aviation, takes up his new role with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, Chris Cholerton will move from his position as president of civil aerospace to become group president.

As part of this role, he will take on executive responsibility for the group’s nuclear operations.

This includes Rolls-Royce Submarines, which is also based in Derby – and the role of interim chief executive of Rolls-Royce SMR, a relatively new business launched by Rolls-Royce, which produces factory-built mini nuclear power stations.

Other changes include Adam Riddle being named as president of defence, and chairman and chief executive – Rolls-Royce North America with immediate effect.

Adam has spent almost a decade in defence and most recently led its global services operations.

Chief executive Tufan Erginbilgic said: “I would like to congratulate both Rob and Adam as they take up their new roles.

“Both are highly experienced leaders and will bring renewed energy and a determination to succeed to civil aerospace and defence.

“Their appointments are also evidence of the pipeline of senior talent which exists within Rolls-Royce.

“With these leadership changes, we are acting at pace and gaining the momentum we need to transform Rolls-Royce.

“Together, my leadership team has a winning mindset, strong strategic alignment and a shared ambition to make Rolls-Royce a company that delivers for all stakeholders.”

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