BLOOMFIELD, Conn.—(NYSE:KAMN) Kaman Corporation (the “Company”) today announced the retirement of Neal J. Keating as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and the appointment of Ian K. Walsh as the incoming CEO. This announcement represents the culmination of a multi-year initiative by the Board of Directors to support a smooth transition to new leadership while maintaining the Company’s strong track record of growth and profitability and the long-term creation of shareholder value.
Walsh has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, and a member of its Board of Directors, effective as of September 8, 2020. In order to ensure a smooth transition, Keating will continue to serve as Executive Chairman through the date of the 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, at which time he is expected to retire from the Board.
Richard R. Barnhart, Executive Vice President of the Company and President of Kaman Aerospace Group (“KAG”), also will be retiring from the Company in connection with the leadership transition. Barnhart’s retirement is expected to become effective as of September 30, 2020, and he has agreed to make himself available to help support the transition through March 31, 2021.
Walsh previously served as Chief Operating Officer REV Group, Inc., a leading designer, manufacturer, and distributor of specialty vehicles and related aftermarket parts and services. Prior to joining REV Group, Walsh worked at Textron, Inc., where he most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of TRU Simulation and Training.
Walsh’s career with Textron began in 1999 at Bell Helicopter and progressed through leadership roles of increasing responsibility, including Senior Vice President and General Manager of Lycoming Engines and Senior Vice President and General Manager of Textron’s Weapon & Sensor Systems business.
Walsh is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and achieved the prestigious International Shingo Silver Medallion for Operational Excellence for his work at Lycoming Engines. Prior to joining Textron, he served as an officer and naval aviator in the U.S. Marine Corps. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College, a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
Karen M. Garrison, Lead Independent Director of Kaman, said, “With his mix of skills and experience, the Board is confident that Ian is the right person to not only continue to lead Kaman through this unprecedented global crisis, but toward a global market recovery and a new phase of growth and development. The Board and I look forward to working closely with Ian and the entire management team to continue delivering for customers, while effectively positioning the Company for future success and value creation.”
“On behalf of the entire Board, I would like to thank Neal for his 13 years of service to Kaman,” Garrison continued. “His leadership resulted in the creation of the ‘New Kaman,’ a highly focused manufacturer of engineered products serving aerospace & defense, industrial and medical end-markets. In the last year alone, Neal led the Company through the sale of its former distribution business and the acquisition of Bal Seal Engineering, significantly enhancing its potential profitability and solidifying the foundation for compelling growth over the long-term. Succession planning has always been a top priority for our Board of Directors and we look forward to an orderly leadership transition. We are grateful for Neal’s continuing guidance during this period and wish him the very best in his well-deserved retirement.”
Walsh said, “Kaman has established itself as a leading manufacturer of highly engineered aerospace, defense and medical solutions, and it is an honor to assume the role of President and Chief Executive Officer during this important time in its history. Kaman has the financial flexibility to continue to weather this difficult period, and at the same time, we are taking the steps necessary to ensure we can achieve further margin expansion and profitability as global markets recover. I look forward to continuing to work closely with our experienced leadership team, the Board, and all of our team members to advance our strategic priorities, create a stronger company for our customers and employees, and deliver long-term value for our shareholders.”
Keating said, “It has been a privilege to lead Kaman for the past 13 years and especially during the past several months, which was perhaps the most volatile period we all have faced in our careers. I am incredibly proud of what our team has achieved together, including the recent sale of our former distribution business and the acquisition of Bal Seal Engineering, and I believe that the Company is strategically positioned for long-term growth. I would like to thank Rick for his many contributions over the last three years. Rick joined the Company during a time of tremendous change and his steadying leadership has been an instrumental part of the Company’s transformation. I share the Board’s confidence in Ian, and I look forward to providing the necessary support for him during the transition. I am certain that, under Ian’s leadership, Kaman will continue to navigate the current operating environment well and emerge even stronger than before.”
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