US defense contractor Lockheed Martin began a new era on June 15 as James Taiclet took over as president and CEO. He was elected to the position in March. The 60-year-old senior executive will continue to serve as a member of the corporation's board.
He succeeds Marillyn Hewson, the incoming executive chairman of the board. Hewson, who has worked for Lockheed Martin for 37 years, served as chairman, president and CEO since 2014 and president and CEO since 2013. She is considered one of the highest-ranking women in global business.
In a statement, Taiclet said, "I come into this role at a time when our nation and its allies have been tested globally by new and emerging threats. Now more than ever, it's critical we continue to deliver the best systems and equipment in the world. I'm honored to succeed Marillyn, who is rightfully one of the most respected CEOs in America, and to lead a workforce that is inventing and advancing the technology and security of our future."
Taiclet graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and earned a master's degree in public affairs from Princeton University. He began his career as a U.S. Air Force officer and pilot and served a tour of duty in the Gulf War. The senior executive later became president of Honeywell Aerospace Services, a unit of Honeywell International, and CEO of real estate investment trust American Tower Corporation.
Lockheed Martin, which employs more than 100,000 people worldwide, has a long partnership with Israel and its industry. The US defense contractor is the producer of the fifth-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that has been acquired by the Israeli Air Force.