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New CEO named at Lockheed Martin

🕐 3 min read

A changing of the guard is taking place at Lockheed Martin Corp.

Marillyn Hewson is stepping down as the current Lockheed Martin president and CEO. Effective June 15, James Taiclet will take on the leadership roles, the Board of Directors of Lockheed Martin announced on Monday.

Hewson spent six years as the CEO of the global aerospace and defense company.

“I know it is the right time to transition the leadership of Lockheed Martin,” Hewson said in a statement. “The corporation is strong, as evidenced by our outstanding financial results last year and a record backlog of business. We have a bright future – particularly with Jim and our outstanding leadership team at the helm.

“I’m pleased the board agreed with my recommendation,” Hewson said. “As Lockheed Martin’s next CEO, Jim will lead the company forward in its next phase of growth and value creation.”

Taiclet joined the corporation’s board in 2018. Previously, he was the chairman, president and CEO of American Tower Corp. During his time, American Tower increased its market capitalization from approximately $2 billion to approximately $100 billion.

Before joining American Tower in 2001, Taiclet served as the president of Honeywell Aerospace Services, a unit of Honeywell International.

His career also includes stints at Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corporation; McKinsey & Company and serving as a United States Air Force officer and pilot.

“I’m honored to be asked to succeed one of the most respected CEOs in America. While serving on Lockheed Martin’s board, I’ve not only been impressed by the company’s continued growth as a leader in aerospace & defense but also by the dedication and commitment of Marillyn and Lockheed Martin employees to deliver for its customers,” said Taiclet. “As a military veteran, I understand the mission of this great company to provide global security and innovative solutions for the brave men and women who protect our freedom.”

Hewson will become executive chairman of the board, also effective June 15, subject to her re-election to the board by the stockholders at the upcoming annual meeting.

“I’m honored to be asked to succeed one of the most respected CEOs in America,” Taiclet said in a statement. “While serving on Lockheed Martin’s board, I’ve not only been impressed by the company’s continued growth as a leader in aerospace & defense but also by the dedication and commitment of Marillyn and Lockheed Martin employees to deliver for its customers.”

Locked Martin announced a couple of other changes as well on Monday.

Frank St. John, the current executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) business, was elected by the board to serve as chief operating officer. Stephanie Hill, senior vice president, Enterprise Business Transformation, was appointed to succeed St. John as executive vice president, RMS.

Reporting to the new CEO and president, the COO will be responsible for the strategic, operational and financial performance of all the corporation’s lines of business.

Their appointments are also effective June 15.

“Marillyn and the board have been focused on developing talent and ensuring a high-quality succession plan,” said Dan Akerson, Lockheed Martin’s lead director. “On behalf of the board and our shareholders, we would like to thank Marillyn for demonstrating a strong commitment to the customer, shaping the company’s portfolio to meet the challenges of today’s global security environment and growing the business and driving long-term sustainable growth.”

Lockheed Martin Corp., headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, employs about 110,000 people worldwide.

The company has a large-scale aeronautics plant in Fort Worth, where it makes the F-35s, and also a missile and fire control plant in Grand Prairie.

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