Meet Lockheed Martin’s Brave New CEO

With Chrstopher Kubasik out of the picture, Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) will face the daunting economic landscape of the next few months with Marillyn Hewson at the helm. She will become the company’s top boss on January 1, one day after the cliff will trigger if left unattended.Marillyn Hewson

Ms. Hewson has been with Lockheed Martin for 30 years, and serves on the board of DuPont. She comes from a highly operational background at Lockheed Martin, serving as president of Lockheed Martin Logistics Services, and VP of Global Supply Chain Management, among other notable posts. She will remain in her current position as executive VP of Electronic Systems until the end of the year.

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Lockheed Martin is one of the world’s largest defense contractors, by some estimates being paid as much as $260 per citizen in taxpayer money. While the fiscal cliff is expected to have far-reaching affects across every industry in America, the defense sector could be particularly hard hit. Spending cuts associated with the cliff could reduce the defense budget by as much as 10 percent, and Lockheed Martin pulls over 80 percent of its revenue from government contracts.

Consensus 2012 revenue estimates for the company are predicting a decline of about $300 million from last year. Other major contractors include Boeing (NYSE:BA), which pulls just under 50 percent of its revenue from government contracts, and General Dynamics (NYSE:GD), with over 70 percent of its sales arms related.

Mr. Kubasik resigned among scandal, but Robert Stevens, chairman and CEO, issued a statement emphasizing that the rapid leadership won’t jeopardize the company’s position. “Marillyn is an exceptional leader with impeccable credentials and deep knowledge of our business, customers, shareholders and employees,” he said.

Curbing some concerns surrounding the looming cliff, he added, “As Board Executive Chairman, I will remain very active and involved in our company’s work, playing any role that would be of value, and I will do this throughout 2013.

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