DBS appoints Mike Helme as Managing Director, Defence

Posted on 23 February, 2024 by Advance 

David Brown Santasalo (DBS) has appointed Mike Helme as Managing Director, Defence.
Image courtesy DBS

As Managing Director for the Global Defence business at DBS, Mike will continue to lead the team in forging strong relationships and delivering DBS’ best in class, tailor-made power transmission systems for key Land and Marine Defence partners.

Mike supersedes Steve Watson, Global Defence Director, who will retire following an impressive career, which has included a 20-year tenure at David Brown Santasalo based out of its UK facility.

Mike has a strong background in working on large scale programmes, particularly in the Defence arena. His career reflects a consistent track record of developing and implementing profitable business growth strategies across various sectors, including Defence & Aerospace, Nuclear Power Generation, Marine, Professional Engineering Services and many more.

Notable career highlights have included various key roles at Rolls-Royce PLC, including Nuclear Operations Director and subsequently President of the Rolls-Royce Submarines defence business. Mike also held key roles at defence company Chemring Group PLC, where Mike was a member of the Group Executive and Managing Director of Chemring’s European Division.

David Armitt, Chief Executive Officer at David Brown Santasalo said, “We are very pleased to welcome Mike to lead our defence business. His experience and leadership of many long term defence programmes will help us in delivering critical products, upscaling capacity and developing strong relationships and support with customers and suppliers.”

In June 2016, David Brown merged with Santasalo, increasing its capabiliites as a major provider of  mechanical power transmission. It supports critical industries including defence, mining, rail and process industry customers with gearbox design, manufacturing, service and repair for heavy-duty industrial applications.

David Brown Santasalo employs more than 1,200 employees across global locations - including Huddersfield in the UK - which span six continents. It is supporting and developing the skills of its people and operates initiatives such as apprenticeships, graduate and leadership training programmes.