Bethesda, Maryland-based aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin announced March 16 that the board of directors elected James D. Taiclet as President and CEO, effective June 15. Taiclet was president of Honeywell Aerospace Services, and in 2001, he joined American Tower Corporation, which builds infrastructure for wireless communication like cell towers. He’s been a member of Lockheed’s board since 2018.
In a statement, Taiclet said he was “impressed” by Lockheed Martin’s dedication to its customers. “As a military veteran, I understand the mission of this great company to provide global security and innovative solutions for the brave men and women who protect our freedom,” he said. Taiclet was an officer in the Air Force who served a tour of duty during the Gulf War.
“I’m honored to be asked to succeed one of the most respected CEOs in America,” said Taiclet.
Taiclet will take the role of Lockheed Martin’s current CEO, Marillyn A. Hewson, who oversaw the aerospace company’s $9 billion purchase of Sikorsky Aircraft, which makes helicopters, and was named “most powerful woman in the world” by Fortune magazine in 2018. She's also credited with the expansion of Lockheed's lucrative F-35 program. Hewson became CEO of Lockheed Martin in 2013 and will remain on the board as executive chairman pending re-election.
In a letter posted to Linkedin, Hewson said it was personally important for her to step down while Lockheed Martin is in “top shape—financially strong, with a record $144 billion in orders, and a vibrant workforce.” She also noted that she recommended Taiclet personally to the board.
“We have a bright future—particularly with Jim [Taiclet] and our outstanding leadership team at the helm,” she wrote.
In other executive leadership changes, Frank A. St. John, executive VP of Lockheed Martin’s rotary and missions systems, was elected COO. Stephanie C. Hill will replace him. All changes are effective June 15. St. John has worked at Lockheed Martin for more than 30 years.