Linda Hudson, a member of the Association of the United States Army’s Council of Trusees, was appointed chief operating officer, BAE Systems plc, and president and CEO of BAE Systems, Inc., Oct. 26.
Hudson was previously president of BAE Systems’ Land and Armaments Operating Group and succeeds Gen. Tony Zinni, USMC, Ret., who was appointed acting president and CEO of BAE Systems, Inc. in June 2009.
"Zinni will stay on to facilitate a smooth and effective transition and will continue to serve as the chairman of the BAE Systems, Inc., board," a spokesman said.
Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret., AUSA president, said of the appointment, "The Association of the United States Army is extremely proud of Linda Hudson’s appointment as president and CEO of BAE Systems, Inc. She has served with distinction on our Council of Trustees where her acumen, leadership and genuine concern for the soldier have contributed materially to our mission of serving as the ‘Voice for the Army.’
"Her many accomplishments, proven performance and dedication to supporting her company’s customers clearly demonstrate she has the vision and skill to take BAE Systems, Inc. into the 21st century and beyond."
Adding, "I have known Linda Hudson for almost 10 years and have been closely associated with her in many professional and not-for-profit activities. She is a very impressive leader.
"We wish her the best in her new position and we look forward to continue working with her."
In her new role, Hudson leads a business that employs nearly 50,000 people on more than 130 sites around the world.
BAE Systems, Inc., manages BAE Systems’ U.S.-based operating groups: Electronics, Intelligence and Support, and Land and Armaments, under a Special Security Agreement with the Department of Defense.
She previously served from January 2007 as president of BAE Systems’ Land and Armaments Operating Group.
Land and Armaments is the world’s largest military vehicle and equipment business, with operations in South Africa, Sweden, Germany, Turkey, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Shortly after joining BAE Systems, she led the acquisition of Armor Holdings Inc., and is responsible for doubling the size of the group’s operations.
A graduate of the University of Florida, Hudson received her bachelor’s degree, with honors, in systems engineering.
She served as a member of the Norwich University Board of Trustees from May 2003 to December 2008.
She has received numerous awards including being named the first woman to receive the National Infantry Association’s "Military Order of St. Maurice" in recognition of outstanding support of the U.S. Army Infantry.
Hudson was recently described by the London Sunday Times as "the first lady of defense."
In 2009, she was named one of Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women.