Rockville, Md.-based defense and aerospace company BAE Systems announced the retirement of two executive directors. Michael Lester, group legal director, and Mark Ronald, COO and president and CEO of BAE Systems Inc., will retire on Dec. 31, 2006. Philip Bramwell, who joins the company on Nov. 1, will succeed Lester, a board member since 1999, on Jan. 1 as group legal director, legal advisor to the board and a member of the executive committee. Bramwell joins BAE Systems from O2. Previous to his employment there he was managing partner of the strategic advisory practice of telecommunications consulting firm DDV Group in Brussels. He has also served as vice president of corporate & legal affairs at Bellsouth Europe. Ronald, who has been on the board since 2002, will be succeeded on Jan. 2 by Walt Havenstein, currently president of the company's Electronics and Integrated Solutions operating group. Havenstein will continue to serve on the executive committee and will be appointed an executive director of BAE Systems plc. Prior to his current position, Havenstein served as executive vice president for BAE Systems North America. Before that, he was president of the company's Information and Electronic Warfare Systems (IEWS) business. He also served as executive vice president and president of Sanders, a Lockheed Martin company, and remained as president after the unit was sold to BAE Systems in November 2000. He is former vice president and general manager of the Strategic Systems Div. for Raytheon at Falls Church, Va.