Northrop Grumman announced Thursday afternoon that Chief Executive Wes Bush will step down at the end of this year and be replaced by Kathy Warden, the company’s president and chief operating officer. Bush will remain chairman of the company through July 2019, the company said. “I am delighted that Kathy will become our company’s next CEO,” Bush said in Thursday’s announcement. “She has demonstrated exceptional leadership in her roles leading the operations of our company, and she brings the vision and values to lead Northrop Grumman into the future.” The large defense contractor was embroiled in controversy last week, when ProPublica revealed that a Northrop Grumman employee who was part of a violent white-supremacist group had received a top U.S. security clearance. The employee lost his job a day after the report was published, and Bush sent an email to staff saying he was “deeply saddened” by the report, according to ProPublica. Northrop Grumman stock dipped 0.4% in late trading Thursday afternoon following the announcement of a new CEO, but has gained 5% so far this year as the S&P 500 index has gained 4.7%.
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