GD Canada President John Watts Announces Retirement

March 9, 2009 | Featured Story


Following a long and distinguished career in Canada's defence industry, General Dynamics Canada President John Watts has announced his retirement.

Recognized as an industry leader in Canada and beyond, since his appointment as President in 2002 Mr. Watts led the organization through an unprecedented period of growth and expansion. Under his leadership, the company achieved significant success with key programs and product lines including the Maritime Helicopter Project, Aurora CP-140 program, introduction of the Vital Point Bio Sentry system, and the significant growth of GD Canada's vehicle electronics business.

During his tenure as President, General Dynamics Canada's employee base doubled and the company was regularly recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers. In 2008, the company expanded its corporate footprint in Canada with the opening of a new Maritime In-Service Support Centre of Excellence in Halifax.

Mr. Watts announced his retirement during a personal address to more than 2000 General Dynamics Canada employees following his thirty-two year career at General Dynamics Canada and its predecessor company, Computing Devices Canada. He will remain with the company during a transition period to provide support to the incoming management.

Mr. Watts will retain an active role in the defence industry, continuing to serve as Chairman of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI)

David Ibbetson Appointed General Dynamics Canada General Manager and Vice President of General Dynamics C4 Systems.

Mr. Ibbetson brings to his new position more than 20 years of international executive and engineering expertise with multinational organizations, including Vickers Defence Systems, now part of BAE Systems Land and Armaments Group, and Alcatel.

Within General Dynamics Canada, Mr. Ibbetson most recently led the Air and Naval Systems business unit where he had executive responsibility for the company's suite of maritime and airborne programs and solutions. Prior to that, Mr. Ibbetson's strong operational and customer focus resulted in significant growth and expansion of GD Canada's Vetronic Systems business unit on the US armoured vehicle fleet.

Mr. Ibbetson joined General Dynamics Canada in 1996. He holds a Master of Science in Advanced Experimental Physics from the University of Northumbria and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Ottawa.

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