January 14, 2016 / 11:31 PM / 3 years ago

United Technologies names new head of Pratt & Whitney engine unit

The ticker symbol for United Technologies is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 20, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) on Thursday named Robert Leduc as president of its Pratt & Whitney aircraft engine division, succeeding Paul Adams, who is retiring.

The change comes as Pratt is ramping up production of its geared turbofan aircraft engine for Airbus (AIR.PA), Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) and Embraer SA (EMBR3.SA) jetliners.

Pratt also supplies F135 engines to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program operated by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), and is preparing to increase production.

Adams had been head of Pratt for two years and had spent 17 years at the company. His departure, timed for late February, will allow overlap with Leduc.

Leduc was named president of UTC’s Sikorsky helicopter unit last April, coming out of retirement to take the job. UTC sold Sikorsky to Lockheed in November.

A UTC spokesman said the change in leadership was not related to recent cooling problems with geared turbofan engines that delayed delivery of the first Airbus A320neo, slated for December. UTC has said it expects to have a fix in place next month.

UTC said Adams was key in building Pratt’s product line, and the geared turbofan, F135 and PW800 engines have produced Pratt’s largest engine backlog in decades.

“Under Paul’s leadership, Pratt & Whitney positioned itself for a bright future,” UTC Chief Executive Gregory Hayes said.

Reporting by Alwyn Scott and Andrea Shalal; Editing by Bill Rigby

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