General Dynamics Reshuffles Key Execs; Names Robert Helm Special Adviser to CEO

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General Dynamics is reshuffling some key positions in its executive ranks.

Robert W. Helm, currently serving as senior vice president for planning and development, is taking on the role of special adviser to CEO Phebe Novakovic.

Helm has served in his current role since joining General Dynamics in 2010, overseeing all communications, international trade compliance and congressional engagement to General Dynamics’ programs and initiatives. In his new position, Helm will counsel Novakovic on emergent issues and continue to support General Dynamics’ strategic initiatives.

“I am grateful for Bob’s service and his lasting impact on our company,” said Novakovic, who also serves as company chair. “I look forward to his continued contributions in his new role.”

General Dynamics also announced two other key personnel moves.

Thomas W. Kirchmaier, vice president of strategic initiatives, will become senior vice president for planning, communications and trade compliance.

Elizabeth “Betsy” L. Schmid is set to become vice president of government relations.

Kirchmaier, who joined General Dynamics in 1978, has served in a variety of roles including as president of General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, and senior vice president of General Dynamics Information Technology. He became vice president for strategic initiatives in 2015.

Schmid joined the General Dynamics’ government relations team in 2015 after serving in various roles including as a vice president of the Aerospace Industries Association, a staff director for the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and as a Presidential Management Fellow in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She became VP for government relations last year.

“Tom and Betsy are assuming greater leadership roles, which reflect their strong contributions to our company,” Novakovic said.

All three personnel moves take effect April 9.

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