UPDATE 1-Spirit AeroSystems taps Gentile to succeed Lawson as CEO
(Adds detail on appointment, stock price, analyst comments)
By Alwyn Scott
NEW YORK, June 8 (Reuters) - Aircraft parts maker Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc named Chief Operating Officer Tom Gentile to succeed Chief Executive Larry Lawson on Wednesday, a long-expected move - but the company's shares fell 3.5 percent.
Gentile, 51, a former General Electric Co executive who became operating chief in April, had been widely seen as preparing to take on Lawson's role.
Lawson, 58, who will retire on July 31, is credited with restoring Spirit's profitability after steep losses in 2013.
The Wichita, Kansas-based company is a major supplier to Boeing Co, Airbus SA, Bombardier Inc and other plane and helicopter makers. It was formed in 2005 in a spin-off of assets from Boeing.
Analysts said the stock decline reflected Lawson's strong performance and concern that more leadership turnover might be in store.
"But the news is not a total surprise and (Spirit's) low valuation should limit downside as well," Seth Seifman, analyst at JP Morgan, said in a note to clients. He kept the stock rated "overweight."
The new CEO "may want to put more of his own people in key positions," Canaccord Genuity analyst Ken Herbert wrote in a note, adding "we do not necessarily view this as a negative." Continued...