Lockheed details next phase of leadership transition

Lockheed Martin’s succession planning function moves ahead with the election of CEO Jim Taiclet as chairman of the board of directors.

Lockheed Martin’s succession planning function has taken its next step with Friday’s announcement that the defense company’s board of directors has elected CEO Jim Taiclet as chairman.

Taiclet’s term takes effect March 1. That is also the date when current Executive Chairman and former CEO Marillyn Hewson will retire from that role and the board of directors altogether.

But Hewson will stay with the company in a different capacity: strategic adviser to the CEO through Feb. 28, 2022. A regulatory filing lists her responsibilities as including:

  • Continue to assist in the transition of responsibilities over the day-to-day operation of Lockheed to the CEO.
  • Provide counsel to the CEO on historic, strategic and policy issues.
  • Continued support to the CEO in the transition by facilitating introductions and establishing relationships with customers, lawmakers, investors and other stakeholders.
  • Represent Lockheed in forums regarding issues facing the aerospace and defense industry
  • Customer and congressional outreach, plus strategic and talent development

Hewson previously led Lockheed as CEO and chairman from 2013 to June 2020, when Taiclet became chief executive at the world's largest defense company.

The Lockheed board also elected Greg Ulmer as executive vice president of the aeronautics segment, which he has led on an acting basis since the death of Michele Evans in early January.

Ulmer also has been Lockheed’s head for the F-35 program since March 2018. The aeronautics business covers the F-35 and other airborne platforms, plus the Skunk Works advanced development organization.