LONDON--Lockheed Martin has appointed John Neilson to the newly-created position of communications director for EMEA.

Based in London, Neilson is charged with leading the delivery of internal and external communications at the American aerospace giant, to support business growth and drive awareness both in the UK and internationally.

Neilson joins Lockheed Martin from BAE Systems where he was most recently VP of international communications, responsible for supporting and expanding the company's business footprint in Australia, India and Saudi Arabia, and leading campaigns in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Neilson previously held a number of senior communications positions at BAE in both the UK and overseas, responsible for media relations, employee engagement, issues management, mergers and acquisitions, and marketing communications.

Before working at BAE Systems, Neilson spent nine years with Nissan Motor Company, where he headed the communications team for its European manufacturing and design centres.

The UK is Lockheed Martin’s largest international market, with more than 2,000 employees and $1.3 billion in sales last year.

In addition to defence programmes, Lockheed Martin manages all commercial air traffic into and out of the United Kingdom and 60 percent of all air traffic around the world. The company also supplies postal recognition technologies to the Royal Mail.

In December, Lockheed Martin opened a new Security Intelligence Centre in Farnborough, Hampshire, to strengthen its cyber security capabilities. The company is also aiming to raise awareness of science, technology, engineering and maths among young people in the country.

“John brings longstanding expertise in delivering results-driven communications campaigns within complex multinational markets, said Stephen Ball, chief executive of Lockheed Martin UK.