Northrop Grumman new CEO: What to know about Kathy Warden

Defense contractor Northrop Grumman named a new chief executive this week, after announcing current chairman and CEO Wes Bush will step down at the end of the year.

Bush will stay on as chairman through July 2019. Kathy Warden was immediately named as Bush’s successor and will also be given a seat on the board.

Here’s what you need to know about Warden:

Early career

Warden spent nearly 10 years working with General Electric in commercial industries. She also held leadership positions at Veridian and General Dynamics before leaving for Northrop Grumman.

Warden earned a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and a master’s degree in business administration from George Washington University.

At Northrop Grumman

Warden has worked for the defense contractor since 2008, where she led the Information Systems sector before moving on to become the corporate vice president and president of the Mission Systems sector.

She most recently served as the company’s president and chief operating officer and will take over as CEO in January.

Fortune 500

Warden will join a group of 24 female executives leading a Fortune 500 company. That number is down from a record high of 32 in 2017, according to Fortune.


Warden serves on the board of directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. She also served on the Clinton administration’s Internet Advisory Council.