Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) is preparing for a leadership transition.
Marillyn Hewson, who has served as president and CEO since 2013, will step down in June. She has also served as chairman, president, and CEO since 2014.
Hewson will become executive chairman of the board, effective June 15. That is subject to her re-election to the board by the stockholders at the upcoming annual meeting.
At the same time, the firm’s board of directors has elected James Taiclet as the company’s next president and CEO, also effective June 15.
Taiclet will continue to serve as a member of the corporation’s board, which he joined in 2018.
Lockheed Martin — a Bethesda, Maryland–based defense contractor — has two plants in Central New York, in Salina and in Owego — as part of the firm’s rotary and mission systems (RMS) business area. The plants employ about 4,100 people combined.
“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.”
Taiclet has served as chairman, president, and CEO of American Tower Corporation since 2004 and CEO since 2003. During that time, American Tower grew “significantly” and increased its market capitalization from about $2 billion to about $100 billion.
Taiclet guided the company from functioning as a primarily U.S. business to a “global player in its industry,” with assets and operations in 19 countries.
Besides the president and CEO transition, Lockheed also announced that the board elected Frank St. John to serve as the firm’s COO.
St. John is the current executive VP of Lockheed Martin’s RMS business.
At the same time, Stephanie Hill, Lockheed Martin’s senior VP of enterprise business transformation, was appointed to succeed St. John as executive VP of RMS. Their appointments are also effective June 15.
Reporting to the new CEO and president, COO St. John will be responsible for the strategic, operational, and financial performance of all the corporation’s lines of business. All four business area executive VPs — aeronautics, RMS, space and missiles, and fire control — will report to the COO. This includes the corporation’s entire portfolio of products and capabilities totaling almost $60 billion in sales.