Harris Taps United Technologies Exec as New CEO

Harris (NYSE:HRS) has named former United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) executive William Brown as its new chief executive, succeeding Howard Lance, who plans to retire at the end of October.

Lance, 55, announced intentions in May to retire when a successor was named. He has served as chief since January 2003 and will continue to serve in his current role and as chairman of the board through Oct. 31.

The Melbourne, Fla.-based operator of radio communications and information technology for military, government and commercial organizations as well as certain public sectors, said Brown will become CEO on Nov. 1 and will be named to its board in December. However he won't assume dual chief executive and chairman roles until a later date, the company said.

In the meantime, Thomas Dattilo, 60, former chief executive of Cooper Tire and Rubber and a member of the Harris board since 2001, will become non-executive chairman on Jan. 1 for at least two years.

Brown, 48, joins Harris after serving in several senior executive positions at United Technologies since 1997. For the past six months he has served as senior vice president of corporate strategy and development, where he was responsible for the company’s global strategic planning and M&A activity.

“At UTC, which like Harris, develops and manufactures high-technology products for commercial and government markets, (Brown) established a strong track record of driving growth in large, global businesses and building teams that thrive and grow even in difficult competitive environments,” Lewis Hay, lead independent director of the board, said on behalf of the directors.

Earlier, Brown served as president of UTC’s $6.5 billion fire and security division, where he helped grow sales by $2.3 billion.