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Taylor Lawrence retiring as Raytheon Missile chief

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Taylor Lawrence retiring as Raytheon Missile chief

  • Taylor Lawrence
    RaytheonTaylor Lawrence

After just more than a decade in charge, Raytheon Missile Systems head Taylor Lawrence will step down, the company announced Tuesday.

Lawrence, president of the defense contractors Tucson-based subsidiary since 2008, will be succeeded by Wesley Kremer, formerly the president of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems.

Kremer's post will be filled by Ralph Acaba, formerly a vice president in the unit that builds the Patriot missile.

Lawrence, who became the head of RMS in 2008 at the age of 44, will retire from Raytheon on July 14. He'll serve as a senior advisor to the company after the new appointments are effective March 30, the company said.

Raytheon's executive pension plan covers retirees aged 55 and older, government filings show.

"Over the past decade, Taylor has led RMS through a significant period of technological and business growth," Raytheon CEO Thomas Kennedy said in a press release. "His leadership has set the foundation for future business success and we thank him for his extensive contributions to both our customers and our nation's security."

Raytheon's Tucson facility develops and manufactures a variety of missiles, including a new nuclear cruise missile, the Standard Missile-3 and SM-6 interceptors, and a deal with Norway's Kongsberg, with plans to assemble and test that company's Naval Strike Missile in Tucson.

With $16 million in incentives from Pima County for the contractor, Raytheon has been in the process of adding about 2,000 jobs here over the next half-decade. The county and Pima Association of Governments have invested about $33 million in the company's expansion here, purchasing land for a buffer zone and constructing a new roadway near the factory, south of Tucson International Airport.

Raytheon reported that it had about 9,600 workers in Tucson in 2017. In 2009, about 12,140 were employed by the company here. In early 2013, Raytheon reported 10,300 local workers.

In 2010, the company chose Huntsville, Ala., as the location for final assembly of the SM-3, with about 300 jobs created in a new plant on the U.S. Army's Redstone Arsenal. The company chose the location because of the large buffer zone and significant tax incentives unavailable in Arizona.

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