BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Officer Gabby Costigan is being promoted and will relocate to the UK as Group Managing Director of Business Development of BAE Systems.
The Australian CEO position will be filled by Ben Hudson, a former Australian Army officer and veteran of East Timor who has worked as BAE Systems Chief Technology Officer in the UK, and previously at Rheinmetall.
Ms Costigan said she had loved leading Australia’s most diverse defence company over the past four years.
“The breadth of the work undertaken by the business and the capabilities and commitment of employees is really quite exceptional,” she said. “It’s been hugely rewarding to see the business grow as major programs have ramped up while also delivering our existing contracts. I am really looking forward to continuing to support the Australian business in my new role.”
Ms Costigan joined BAE Systems Australia in October 2017, assuming the role of CEO in January 2018. Previously she headed international operations of logistics company Linfox from Bangkok.
Under Ms Costigan the BAE Systems Australian has grown from about 3,000 employees to more than 5,500 as major programs ramped. That includes the upgrade of JORN, F-35 sustainment, and the Hunter Class Frigate program.
BAE Systems Australia is ranked as Australia’s number one defence contractor with turnover of $1.35 billion in 2021.
Ms Costigan was awarded an MBE in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to United Kingdom/Australia relations. In 2021 she accepted an invitation from Prime Minister Scott Morrison to join the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council as one of three representatives for the Australian economy.
She is involved with a number of organisations, including as board member of the Princes Trust, an AMCHAM NSW Honorary Governor, Chair of the Council for Women and Families United by Defence Service, a member of the CSIRO Manufacturing Advisory Group, and a member of the University of Adelaide Defence Cyber and Space Advisory Board.
Ms Costigan was also an officer in the Australian Army for 20 years, serving in Afghanistan and also with US CENTCOM in Florida.