Rolls-Royce plc has announced the appointment of John Kelly to the position of President – Middle East, Türkiye and Africa (META), with immediate effect.

Prior to this position, John served as the Group’s Civil Aerospace business’s Senior Vice President of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa for six years.

John began his career at Rolls-Royce in 2001 as a graduate trainee in the Defence business. Before joining Civil Aerospace, he rose through the ranks to become a senior manager.

In his new role, John will be responsible for group-wide leadership and representation for the Group’s Civil Aerospace, Power Systems, and Defence businesses throughout the META region, as well as engaging with senior government and industry stakeholders.

Rolls-Royce develops and delivers complex power and propulsion solutions for safety-critical applications in the air, at sea and on land and employs over 150 people across Africa with an extensive reach across the region.

Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace serves more than 20 African airlines in 15 countries. With engines installed on over 80 widebody aircraft in service and another 30 on order, the company controls more than half of the African widebody aircraft market. Since 2017, the company has helped launch three new airlines and delivered over 30 new planes. With over 95 aircraft in service, Rolls-Royce also powers a significant portion of the regional aircraft market.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems Africa, headquartered in South Africa, offers world-class power solutions as well as full life-cycle support. The company supports Africa’s expanding power generation, marine, rail, and industrial sectors by providing critical power solutions to datacenters, mining, oil and gas, shipping, locomotive, and agriculture businesses across the continent.

Rolls-Royce Defence develops power and propulsion solutions to meet operational needs for protection, security, and exploration. The company works closely with several African Governments, serving many defence forces.

, because there is no one in the market. This rapidly developing and innovative region is critical to the future of Rolls-Royce. I will work to ensure that we build on our successes while also promoting transformative economic growth, climate resilience, and an energy transition that is appropriate for Africa.

While we are renowned for excellence in civil aerospace, we will leverage opportunities for all the Rolls-Royce businesses, providing safety-critical power and propulsion solutions for Africa’s major infrastructure projects and industrial customers. Our technology has the potential to play a critical role in enabling the transition to a low-carbon global economy.”

With big plans for the future, John is dedicated to expanding partnerships across Africa that reflect Rolls-core Royce’s engineering and technological innovations.


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