Executive Mosaic is pleased to present Jim Taiclet, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin, as a recipient of the 2021 Wash100 Award for sustaining company growth through acquisition deals and contract wins, promoting support to supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic, and advancing military technology and 5G. This marks the first-time that Taiclet has been recognized with a Wash100 Award.
Taiclet was officially appointed president and CEO of Lockheed Martin in June 2020, replacing Marillyn Hewson, who now serves as executive chairman of the board. His appointment, along with other executive movements, took effect in March 2020.
“His executive leadership team will continue driving sustained success through sound business strategy, strong customer relationships and deep mission focus,” Hewson commented on Taiclet’s appointment. “I am proud to continue to support Jim and the important mission of Lockheed Martin as we deliver innovative, affordable, and leading-edge solutions for our customers,” Hewson said.
The Lockheed CEO was elected to join the company’s board of directors in December 2017 to serve on the nominating and corporate governance and strategic affairs committees. He spent nearly two decades at American Tower, most notably serving as chairman, president and CEO from February 2004 to March 2020.
Since taking the helm of Lockheed, Taiclet has put emphasis on providing the military with better equipment and technology to give them advantage over adversaries.
“It’s about doing something important for the frontline men and women that have to defend us… I joined Lockheed Martin because I am committed to doing that,” said Taiclet during a company interview.
Under his leadership, Lockheed received several government contract awards including a $1.3 billion Naval Air Systems Command contract for recurring logistics and initial training services in support of U.S. and international operators of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, and a $62 billion foreign military sales deal with the U.S. Air Force for the delivery of F-16 jets to international customers.
Other FMS contracts include a $1.4 billion contract from the Air Force for services in support of C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft, and a $23.1 billion agreement with Japan for the sale of 105 units of Lockheed-built F-35 fighter jets, Pratt & Whitney-made aircraft engines and related equipment and services.
Taiclet is also overseeing Lockheed’s purchase of defense and aerospace rocket engine manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne for approximately $4.4 billion. The acquisition is expected to conclude in the second half of 2021 and to expand Lockheed’s hypersonics, space exploration, integrated air and missile defense and tactical missile capabilities.
“Acquiring Aerojet Rocketdyne will preserve and strengthen an essential component of the domestic defense industrial base and reduce costs for our customers and the American taxpayer,” said Taiclet.
The transaction was announced in December and came nearly a month after Lockheed closed its purchase of the hypersonic strike and defense business of Huntsville, Alabama-based software and systems engineering firm Integration Innovation Inc.
In October, Taiclet was quoted saying hypersonic weapons programs contributed to the company’s earnings growth in the space segment. He expects a collaboration between the government and industry on the development of platforms to help counter kinetic and non-kinetic threats to ground stations and space assets.
5G technology is another area of interest for Taiclet. According to him, Lockheed plans to partner with commercial companies on 5G to support the implementation of next-generation mobile network of the U.S. military and allies.
“We’re interested in operationalizing the technical capabilities of 5G waveforms and technology software and hardware to improve our defense products and our defense products’ performance in an interrelated way,” he said during the company’s third-quarter earnings call in October.
More than a month after he became president and CEO, Taiclet shared that he intends to pursue the use of 5G networks to enhance the autonomous capabilities of military vehicles.
Aside from focusing on company growth and advancement of technologies for the military, Taiclet also led Lockheed as the company supported small businesses and contractors that are part of its supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lockheed expedited the flow of cash worth more than $1.1 billion to small businesses and other at-risk suppliers as part of progress payments it received from the Department of Defense in June. Six months following the move, the company sent payments to 10,000 suppliers and estimated that supply chain invoices will reach more than $1 billion by the end of 2020.
“In this more volatile environment, it is more important than ever before to maintain the operations of the defense industrial base and support our men and women in uniform,” Taiclet said.
Continuing his leadership as the company works to provide customers with products and services, Taiclet will assume another top role at Lockheed. He was elected to serve as the chairman of the board of directors, effective March 1st.
He will leverage his experience gained from leading American Tower and serving as president of Honeywell Aerospace Services, a unit of Honeywell International, and as vice president of engine services at Pratt & Whitney.
Executive Mosaic congratulates Lockheed Martin and James Taiclet on receiving his first Wash100 Award.