The departing chief executive of Lockheed Martin said on Friday the company was "not in crisis" after the resignation of his planned successor over an ethics scandal.

Christopher Kubasik, who had been slated to take the reins from Stevens at the defense contractor in January, quit after admitting to a close and improper relationship with a subordinate.

On a conference call with reporters, Lockheed's Bob Stevens said he was "deeply saddened" by Kubasik's actions but that the company's board was confident in the ability of Marillyn Hewson, named on Friday as CEO effective January 1, to lead the company.

Hewson told reporters the Kubasik situation was a "temporary distraction."

(Reporting By Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Gary Hill)