Senior Airbus Executive Julian Whitehead has been appointed as the new President of ADS, the leading trade organisation for companies in the UK’s Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space sectors.

Julian will carry out his presidency of ADS alongside his current position as Executive Vice President Global Business and Strategic Programmes at Airbus Defence and Space. He has worked at Airbus since 2012, with his earlier career including roles with ADS members MBDA and BAE Systems. Julian will hold the post for two years until the end of 2023.

As President he will lead the ADS Board, which includes Vice Presidents representing each of the Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space sectors, as well as representatives from across the membership. He replaces Meggitt Chief Executive Tony Wood who has held the post since the start of 2020.

ADS President Julian Whitehead said:

“ADS represents some of the UK’s most innovative, successful and economically important sectors and it is a privilege to be appointed ADS President at such an important time. There has never been a more vital moment for our trade association to focus on delivering the expert support our members need.

“Over the next two years we must continue to support our four sectors as we recover from the impact of the pandemic, while taking opportunities to innovate and grow on the global stage as we support the UK’s decarbonisation and digitalisation ambitions.

“I would also like to thank my predecessor Tony Wood for his energetic contribution to supporting our industries through the unprecedented challenges over the last two years brought by the coronavirus pandemic.”

In addition, GKN President Civil Aerospace John Pritchard is appointed ADS Vice President, Aerospace, and Raytheon UK CEO Jeff Lewis is appointed ADS Vice President, Defence, both to serve a three-year term. Michael Clayforth-Carr of Leonardo continues as ADS Vice President, Security. The process to appoint a new ADS Vice President, Space, will conclude shortly.

ADS Chief Executive Kevin Craven said:

“Julian Whitehead will bring strong leadership and a wealth of experience of our industries to the role of ADS President, and I look forward to working with him to support our members.

“The next two years will be vital to the achievement of major national ambitions around net zero, Global Britain and levelling up, and our industries have important roles to play.

“In 2022 we will be fully focussed on helping our members by providing the expertise, representation, and opportunities to network and access new business that they need to prosper and grow.”