British aerospace and defense contractor Cobham PLC announced Nov. 18 that its chief executive officer, Andy Stevens, is stepping down due to health reasons.

Stevens, who joined Cobham from engine maker Rolls-Royce in 2003 and became chief executive in January 2010, informed the board that he can no longer lead the company due to the recurrence of a long-term, serious back injury and has decided to take early retirement, Cobham said in a press release.

Cobham’s chairman, John Devaney, will serve as executive chairman until a new chief executive is appointed, the company said.