Collins Aerospace announced that Steve Timm has taken over as president of its avionics business unit, five months after the company merged with UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS).

Timm joined the former Rockwell Collins in 1996 and for the past six years has led the company’s commercial avionics portfolio. Effective May 9, he succeeded Kent Statler, whose retirement was announced in an email to employees the same day.

“Statler stated that he and his family have a strong passion for local and global ministry and mission work and look forward to taking some time to pay it forward in his retirement,” Collins Aerospace said in a brief statement.

The unanticipated announcement follows United Technologies Corp.’s $30 billion acquisition of Rockwell Collins, which closed on Nov. 26, and subsequent merger of the parent company’s UTAS business into Collins Aerospace.

With the merger, Collins was reorganized into avionics, aerostructures, interiors, mechanical systems, mission systems and power and controls strategic business units.

Statler headed the reformed avionics unit, which has headquarters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His previous job title was EVPand COO of the Rockwell Collins’ Commercial Systems division.

Statler “began his career as a factory floor foreman” and had worked for the company for 32 years, Collins Aerospace said.

Bill Carey, bill.carey@aviationweek.com