Dassault Aviation said the head of its international operations, Eric Trappier, would take over as chief executive when Charles Edelstenne reaches retirement age in January.
His deputy will be Loik Segalen, currently director of economic affairs at the maker of French warplanes and business jets, Dassault said in a statement on Tuesday.
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Trappier and Segalen, both 52, had been identified in press reports as possible successors to Edelstenne, who will step down on January 8 ahead of his 75th birthday.
Industry sources say Edelstenne, who will stay on the board, is expected to remain an influential figure.
He joined Dassault Aviation in 1960 and became its chief executive in 2000, succeeding Serge Dassault, the son of company founder Marcel Dassault.
Dassault is seen as a key player in possible French defense industry consolidation involving Thales and Safran .
Aerospace and defense group EADS controls 46.3 percent of Dassault Aviation.
Dassault shares were little changed at 745 euros at 1326 GMT. The stock is up almost a third this year and has more than quadrupled in value in the 12 1/2 years since Edelstenne became CEO.
(Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer and Tim Hepher; Additional reporting by Elena Berton in Paris; Editing by James Regan)