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Kathy Warden, Northrop Chair, CEO & President, Elected to 2023 Wash100 for Driving Tech Portfolio Alignment With Customer Priorities

Executive Mosaic is honored to introduce Kathy Warden, chair, CEO and president of Northrop Grumman, as a 2023 Wash100 Award winner for aligning the company’s portfolio of technology offerings to priorities of defense customers and advancing strategic growth.

This year marks the 10th iteration of Executive Mosaic’s annual list of the top 100 leaders from the government and GovCon business, and the eighth time that Warden has been selected to receive the Wash100 award.

Northrop’s partnership with the U.S. Air Force reached a milestone in December 2022, when the B-21 Raider long-range strike bomber aircraft made its public debut as part of the country’s nuclear triad modernization strategy.

“The B-21 Raider defines a new era in technology and strengthens America’s role of delivering peace through deterrence,” Warden said.

The Falls Church, Virginia-based aerospace and defense contractor launched the aircraft seven years after winning the development contract in October 2015.

At the fourth-quarter earnings call in late January, Warden said the company remains on schedule to conduct its initial flight of the long-range strike bomber in late 2023.

As the program transitions into low-rate initial production, we are working to address macroeconomic conditions, especially related to inflation, and their impact on material, suppliers and labor,” Warden told investors.

“Importantly, I want to highlight that our B-21 unit cost projections remain below the government’s independent cost estimates.”

With Warden as CEO, Northrop continues to record growth. For Q4 2022, the company reported $10 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2022, up 16 percent from $8.6 billion in the prior-year period, and a 3 percent increase in organic sales for the full year ended Dec. 31. 

The contractor attributed the sales growth with the strong demand for its products, performance of the company’s space and mission systems segments and improving trends in labor availability.

Warden told analysts that Northrop is growing its portfolio of product offerings in alignment with the priorities of customers and implementing digital platforms across the company to boost productivity and streamline business functions and investing in tech development efforts to enable clients to keep ahead of the threat environment.

In 2022, we invested over 7% of revenue in R&D and capital expenditures to provide the capability and capacity needed to address the threats of today and tomorrow,” the CEO said.

In October 2022, Northrop saw its sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2022 jump 3 percent to $9 billion and recorded a total backlog of $79.6 billion and year-to-date 2022 net awards of $30.2 billion.

During the earnings call, the chief executive mentioned mission systems, missile defense and hypersonics as some of the market areas where the company continues to strengthen its position. 

“Our mission systems solutions are another area of our portfolio where innovation is critical to success, where the fast pace of threats and new technologies is driving the need for platforms and sensors to be able to connect with one another, share data and be part of a broader family of systems,” Warden said.

In this growing market, we’re building on our strong position in sensors, secure communications, and networking to compete for and win new opportunities,” she noted.

For the hypersonics area, Warden cited the selection of the Northrop-Raytheon Technologies team to work on the U.S. Air Force’s Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile program.

Warden’s efforts to promote a culture of operational excellence and continuous improvement across the company to drive growth did not go unnoticed in 2022. In September, the CEO received the 2022 Deming Cup for Operational Excellence Award by Columbia Business School’s W. Edwards Deming Center for Quality, Productivity and Competitiveness.

“I am incredibly proud of our entire team and our collective commitment to continuous improvement,” Warden said of the award. “It’s an honor for our company to be recognized and celebrated as a 2022 recipient of the prestigious Deming Cup. The award is a powerful motivator to keep pushing forward.”

When it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion, Warden said her company is launching efforts to encourage more women to pursue careers in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

As a technology company, we are focused on attracting more women into STEM careers and creating pathways for people to come into the field later in life. This includes opening doors to careers previously limited to those with STEM education, and also investing in programs that inspire young women to find the fun and belonging possible in a STEM career.” 

Executive Mosaic congratulates Kathy Warden and the Northrop team for their selection to receive the 2023 Wash100 award.

Cast a vote now for your favorite GovCon champion at Wash100.com! Site visitors can select 10 executives for our Popular Vote rankings until April 28.

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