Stevens quits Cobham on health grounds

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The Independent Online

Cobham, the aerospace electronics business, became the second listed company this month to lose a chief executive on health grounds, as a "long-term serious back injury" forced Andy Stevens to step down.

Barely a fortnight after Lloyds Banking Group's Antonio Horta-Osorio took a leave of absence due to "extreme fatigue", 55-year old Mr Stevens has decided to take early retirement from Cobham, which makes equipment that enables military vehicles, such as the F-35 fighter plane, to communicate with each other.

John Devaney, Cobham's chairman, will temporarily add the chief executive's role to his duties, until a replacement is found for Mr Stevens, who will remain on the board of Cobham during the search.

The new chief executive will come to Cobham at a difficult time. Earlier this month, the company warned that revenue growth in the first nine months of the year was down on last year, as Cobham was hit by significant cuts in US defence and security spending, which it said would continue into next year.

Cobham said: "Andy Stevens has informed the board that he is unable to continue as Cobham's chief executive officer due to the recurrence of a long-term serious back injury."