Ian King (businessman)

Ian Graham King (born 24 April 1956) is a British businessman who was the CEO of BAE Systems from 2008 to 2017,[1] and was responsible for all of the company's business operations. For this role he was paid an annual base salary of £982,300.[2] Until 20 June 2014 King was also a non-executive director of Rotork plc, an engineering company.[3]

Ian King
Ian Graham King

(1956-04-24) 24 April 1956
Years active1977–present
Titleformer CEO BAE Systems
Term2008 – 30 June 2017
PredecessorMichael Turner
SuccessorCharles Woodburn


BAE Systems was created by a merger of Marconi Electronic Systems and British Aerospace. King joined BAE from Marconi. Previous roles include Chief executive officer (CEO) of Alenia Marconi Systems, a partnership between Marconi and Finmeccanica, Finance Director and Deputy managing director of Marconi Electronic Systems and non-Executive Director of the Canadian Marconi Company.[4][5]

When BAE Systems was created in November 1999, King was named Group Strategy & Planning Director. In December 2000 King was appointed group managing director of BAE Systems Customer Solutions and Support.[6]

In November 2006, BAE Systems appointed King chief operating officer from 1 January 2007. He was promoted in what the Financial Times described as "in part... to improve relations with the MoD further".[7] This follows a general improvement in relations since acrimony in 2003. The previous co-COOs were Chris Geoghegan and Steve Mogford. The Independent described King's appointment as COO as part of the "succession battle" to succeed BAE CEO Michael Turner.[8]


In October 2007, BAE Systems announced that its CEO Mike Turner would step down from his role in 2008.[9] While King was always named as a candidate to replace him as CEO, press reports suggested BAE would prefer an American CEO due to the increasing importance of the United States defence market to the company and the opportunity to make a clean break from corruption allegations and investigations related to the Al Yamamah contracts.[10][11] However, on 27 June 2008, BAE announced that it had selected King to succeed Turner with effect from 1 September 2008; The Financial Times noted that King's career at Marconi distances him from the British Aerospace-led Al Yamamah project.[10]

King announced his intended retirement, on 30 June 2017, to the Board on 22 February. It was confirmed that Charles Woodburn, the Chief Operating Officer, would be appointed in his place.[12]

Personal life

He is married with one son, and lives in Portsmouth.[13]


  1. "Ian Graham King". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  2. "BAE Systems Annual Report 2016" (PDF). BAE Systems. BAE Systems. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  3. List of companies related to Ian King - http://www.flixens.com/director/ian-graham-king
  4. "General and City News". PR Newswire Europe. Origin Universal News Services. 23 December 1998.
  5. "Biographical details of Mr King, Mr Guarguaglini and Mr Gershon". PR Newswire Europe. Origin Universal News Services. 23 December 1998.
  6. "BAE Systems Announces Senior Appointments". PR Newswire Association. PR Newswire. 12 December 2000.
  7. Boxwell, James (23 December 2006). "Tornados' upkeep role opens deals to BAE weapons". Financial Times. p. 4.
  8. Harrison, Michael (11 November 2006). "Succession battle hots up at arms manufacturer BAE". The Independent. Newspaper Publishing. p. 48.
  9. BAE Systems boss to leave in 2008 BBC News – 16 October 2007
  10. Fidler, Stephen (28 June 2008). "BAE's search for successor to Turner ends in its own backyard". Financial Times.
  11. Bloomberg News (27 June 2008). "Ian King, BAE insider, promoted to chief". International Herald Tribune. Reuters. Retrieved 30 June 2008.
  12. "Ian King (CEO) to retire 30 June 2017". BAE Systems. 22 February 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  13. "Ian King biography". BAE Systems. Retrieved 26 November 2012.

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