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Lockheed Martin taps company CEO as new board chairman; former CEO Hewson to retire

By Eric Reinhardt (


James Taiclet (Photo credit: Lockheed Martin website)

BESTHESDA, Maryland — The board of directors of Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT), which operates plants in suburban Syracuse and Oswego, has elected James Taiclet, the firm’s president and CEO, as chairman of the board, effective March 1.

At the same time, executive chairman Marillyn Hewson informed the board of her intent to retire as executive chairman and as a member of the board. Hewson will transition to serve as a strategic advisor to the CEO through Feb. 28, 2022.

Lockheed Martin is a Bethesda, Maryland–based defense contractor. Its plants in Salina and Owego are both part of the firm’s rotary and mission systems (RMS) business area.

Hewson became executive chairman of Lockheed Martin on June 15, 2020. Prior to that, she served as chairman, president, and CEO, and led Lockheed Martin from 2013 to June 2020 “through a period of consistent financial performance and impressive growth,” per the company’s news release. She has spent 38 years at Lockheed Martin.

Taiclet joined the Lockheed Martin board in 2018 and was elected president and CEO of the company last year. He assumed that position on June 15, 2020.

Taiclet previously served as CEO of American Tower Corp., beginning in 2003 and he became chairman, president and CEO in 2004. During that time, American Tower “grew significantly” and increased its market capitalization from about $2 billion to more than $100 billion.

Prior to joining American Tower in 2001, Taiclet was president of Honeywell Aerospace Services, a unit of Honeywell International, and prior to that, was VP of engine services at Pratt & Whitney.

The Lockheed Martin board has also elected Gregory Ulmer, 56, as executive VP of aeronautics. He succeeds Owego native Michele Evans, who died on New Year’s Day. Ulmer has served as acting executive VP of aeronautics since Dec. 1, 2020, and as VP and general manager of the F-35 Lightning II program since March 2018. His new appointment is effective Feb. 1.