Israel Aerospace names former civil servant Locker as chairman

JERUSALEM, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Israel's largest defence contractor, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), nominated Harel Locker as its new chairman on Wednesday, a position the government wants filled before it moves ahead with IPO plans.

Harel, a former head of the Israeli prime minister's office, will succeed Rafi Maor who stepped down last September, leaving state-run IAI without a chairman for nearly a year.

Company officials said earlier this year that IAI urgently needed a public share offering so that it can make acquisitions abroad to enable it to compete in foreign markets.

But a senior government source said at the time that an IPO, to sell a 20 percent stake in IAI, could not take place until a new chairman is appointed.

The board's decision to appoint Locker as chairman still needs to be approved by a government appointments' committee and Israel's defence and finance ministers.

Locker was director general of the Israeli Prime Minister's Office from 2011 until 2015 and has spent the last two years in investment banking and in business and legal consulting.

(Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Susan Fenton)