Washington: One of world’s leading defence company Lockheed Martin will have a new top executive from June as it announced on March 16 that James Taiclet, 59, has been selected as President and CEO of the company succeeding Marillyn Hewson.
Though Taiclet has been a member of Lockheed’s board since 2018, but had not worked directly inside the company before. He has served as Chairman, President and CEO of American Tower Corporation, a wireless and broadcast communications infrastructure company based in Boston, Massachusetts since 2004.
Previously, he worked as President of Honeywell Aerospace Services and Vice President of engine services at Pratt & Whitney. Taiclet is also a retired US Air Force officer, whose biography cites more than 5,000 flying hours, including as part of the first Gulf War.
“I know it is the right time to transition the leadership of Lockheed Martin. 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,” Hewson said in a statement. “I’m pleased the board agreed with my recommendation. As Lockheed Martin’s next CEO, Jim will lead the company forward in its next phase of growth and value creation.”
In a post on LinkedIn, Hewson said that Taiclet “has impressed [her] with his sharp intellect, keen business acumen, and strong knowledge of our industry” and that she was leaving her corner office in good hands.
Hewson took over the company in 2013, the first woman to lead Lockheed. Her ascension came as a surprise following the sudden removal of then-Chief Operating Officer Chris Kubasik, who had been in line for the top job. Since coming into power, Hewson successfully guided the company through the US budget sequestration and a major acquisition of helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky, along with getting the F-35 fighter programme largely on track.