The chief executive of Chemring, in the takeover sights of US private equity house Carlyle, yesterday experienced the defence firm's own ejector seats, leaving "with immediate effect".
The shares plunged 9 per cent on the news that David Price, at the munitions and pyrotechnics firm since 2005, will be replaced by Mark Papworth, formerly head of gas turbine services at FTSE 100 energy firm Wood Group.
Chemring flagged up Mr Papworth's skills in "successful turnaround, improved manufacturing capabilities and substantial improvements in profitability."
Before Wood Group, he was vice-president of Rolls-Royce Energy in the US.
With no firm offer having yet emerged from Carlyle, Chemring is thought to be keen to push on with a new strategy. "The board feels that a change in leadership maximises the strength of the company's position," a Chemring spokesman said. Chemring shares fell 31.4p to 314.9p.