TOP 100: Booz Allen rides wave of tech-driven growth

Matt Calderone, Booz Allen CFO, has helped lead the company to its best year since going public in 2010.

Matt Calderone, Booz Allen CFO, has helped lead the company to its best year since going public in 2010. Booz Allen Hamilton

Chief Financial Officer Matt Calderone credits the company's VoLT strategy and workforce transformation efforts for its best financial year since the 2010 initial public offering.

Booz Allen Hamilton is coming off the kind of that fiscal chief financial officer Matt Calderone described as the most successful for the company since its IPO in 2010.

Revenue grew climbed 15.2% to $10.7 billion for Booz Allen’s fiscal 2024 that ended March 31, while adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) rose 15.9% to $1.2 billion.

“That kind of growth at our scale is a real accomplishment,” Calderone told WT. “It signifies how well we are positioned for the technology transformation that the government’s undergoing.”

Booz Allen’s growth is also reflected in its 2024 Top 100 rankings, with the company reaching the No. 4 spot with $8.2 billion in unclassified prime contract obligations for the 2023 federal fiscal year.

Calderone pointed to four factors driving Booz Allen’s upward climb:

  • Its VoLT strategy
  • The government’s desire for innovation
  • Delivering for customers
  • The Booz Allen workforce

VoLT is an acronym for the company’s Velocity, Leadership and Technology strategy that it launched in late 2021 to follow up on the prior Vision 2020 strategy, which began in 2012.

“VoLT at its core is about matching the speed of technology and our clients,” Calderone said. “It’s about broadening our use of technology, whether built, acquired or assembled through partnerships or co-created with the government to solves problems.”

To deliver on that vision, Booz Allen had to change and began that journey with Vision 2020. Calderone led that strategy effort and rollout of VoLT as Booz Allen’s chief strategy officer.

In 2012, about one-third of Booz Allen’s workforce had technical backgrounds. Caldrone said that number is approaching 70% today.

“The balance of the firm has deep mission experience and expertise. Our employee base has changed dramatically. We are no longer a consulting firm,” Calderone said.

But the company has not abandoned its consulting roots. Instead, it has looked for ways to blend technical with consulting.

“Our model is rooted in understanding client challenges and bringing innovative ideas with mission expertise and a deep technical understanding,” he said. “That’s what’s required these days to actually make an impact at scale.”

That approach is seen in Booz Allen's push to win larger contracts. One example is Thunderdome, a $1.86 billion contract with the Defense Information Systems Agency.

“It is the largest zero trust implementation in the federal government and therefore will likely be the largest, most complex zero trust implementation globally,” he said.

A second major contract Calderone touted is a $1.7 billion data modernization accelerator award with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are partnering with CDC to create their data analytics environment to apply AI to solve countless challenges they face,” he said.

Booz Allen captured both of those contracts in 2023 and "are emblematic of the kind of work we are doing,” Calderone said.

The CDC project in particular is an example of where Booz Allen sees its federal clients going.

“Many parts of the government are increasingly being driven by technology and data,” he said. “This is a natural evolution of where the government headed, which is using technology, analytic tools and increasingly AI on top of their data to accelerate the ability to accomplish mission needs.”

Along with internal investments and partnerships, Booz Allen has also used acquisitions to position itself for these kinds of opportunities.

Booz Allen acquired PAR Government Systems Corp. in early June for $95 million to add niche technologies around the digital battlespace such as visualization, imagery, data sharing and mobile situational awareness.

“This is where we are headed with M&A – more surgical opportunities to acquire capabilities and business models that have value and that we can build on,” he said.

PAR develops software for Team Awareness Kits, or TAKs, which almost every soldier wears that brings them real-time situational awareness and communications.

“If you think about the value we can bring to that platform with our AI tools, with our work in decision advantage, with our work in communications, there are real opportunities to bring additional value to the government,” Calderone said.

As he put it, PGSC is an example of a relatively small company that has done big things from a technical perspective.

“We can build onto it with our capabilities and adapt it for use by a much broader set of clients,” he said. “We have the investment capability and the access to clients that will allow us to do that. So we’re excited and they’re excited.”

Like many of the Top 100's other large companies, Booz Allen isn’t looking for a big-bang type of acquisition.

“It’s more about speed than scale and its about quality versus quantity,” Calderone said. “We are looking for companies that have differentiated technology platforms and unique capabilities that we can combine with our technical breadth and acumen to create new things for our customers.”