Aerospace Defense

Lockheed CEO Defends Company’s Role with DoD

Lockheed CEO Defends Company

As commentary bubbles up in the media and on the Hill in regards to the influence of Lockheed Martin and its us president about the Pentagon, as well as the volume of taxpayer dollars that land in their coffers, CEO Marillyn Hewson’s description of Lockheed’s influence inside the Pentagon is actually comically simple: “We certainly are a global security company that’s in aerospace and defense.”

It’s simply a really big and extremely successful one.

Hewson sat down in an exclusive interview March 5, and spoke in regards to the company’s position inside defense industrial complex, and what type of influence includes being the greatest defense company on the globe.

“We in my opinion hold the honor and privilege of leading just what is a national asset,” Hewson said. “What we all do with this country, males and females in uniform, and also the stuff that we do on advanced discovery that can help change people’s lives, the things that we all do to guide innovation and growth and jobs, is a crucial element of the economy. So, I take that responsibility very seriously.”

Hewson’s comments were especially in response to a Washington Post article that noted Lockheed Martin’s revenue from government contracts to be greater than the cost of countless federal agencies, $35.2 billion, or 70 percent of their total sales. The article went on that compares Hewson’s influence to that of an cabinet-level secretary, otherwise greater.

“We can be a $51 billion company,” Hewson said. “We’re not the biggest in the United States, but we’re on the list of top Fortune 100. And that’s due to what we all do, many of the most important benefit not merely our citizens but also for citizens of our own allies around the world. Comparing that with a cabinet secretary, I believe that’s the incorrect comparison.”

As for cooperation with government, “it’s critical that we have a voice not simply with the Department of Defense, which is our largest customer, however with our intel agencies, while using Homeland Security, with NASA, with Commerce Department while others; that because the leader in the corporation, I have a way to represent our company just like I do with leaders worldwide,” Hewson continued.

Further commentary about Lockheed filtered in the Hill Wednesday, with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., calling Lockheed “for all intent and purposes, a government agency.” Repeatedly referring to Lockheed’s CEO being a “he,” and “this guy,” Sanders also questioned the actual way it may be how the secretary of defense makes $200,000 or less, while the CEO of an company that relies upon government contracts to the the greater part of its revenue made more than $20 million in the most current fiscal year.

“I believe that may be a worry you might like to raise,” Sanders told David Norquist, Pentagon comptroller throughout a Senate Budget Committee hearing about the ongoing DoD audit and management reforms. “For all intent and purposes, Lockheed Martin is often a government agency. Private, but a government agency, virtually fully funded by the United States government. Is it reasonable to convey they keep their CEO salaries in balance?”

Norquist said, “taxpayers must be paying to the services we receive,” adding he was unsure whether executive salaries “fall inside scope of procurement roles.”

According to Lockheed’s latest proxy statement, Hewson’s total compensation was $20.6 000 0000 for 2016. That includes $9.79 million in base salary and bonuses, $9.23 million in store awards, plus a little more than $1 million in pension assets. Her compensation is just not an anomaly for CEOs of publicly traded businesses that are comparable in size to Lockheed, an undeniable fact often referenced by industry advocates that argue the compensation for Hewson and also other chief executives while using top defense contractors is justified and essential to attract talent on the market.

As for your massive dollars funneled on the company in the Pentagon, defense analysts question the perception that revenue derived from government contracts necessarily translates to influence.

“It’s sort of ironic in my opinion,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at Teal Group. “Yes, with regards to their business, along with their share of the national budget, they would appear to have outsized importance. But unlike cabinet secretaries like Gen. Mattis, CEOs can’t afford to resist Trump. These are sensible business people who, for example, regard trade wars as radioactive, nonetheless they can’t copy former White House economic adviser Gary Cohn and merely protest by resigning.”

Daniel Goure, senior second in command of the Lexington Institute, also described reports in the power of Lockheed as “greatly exaggerated,” pointing to lucrative programs that the company has lost recently, through the B-21 bomber that visited Northrop Grumman towards the Air and Missile Defense Radar that visited Raytheon.

“Does Lockheed have an capacity to test the limits against an overreaching, even predatory, government? Yes, in some instances,” Goure said. “But if Lockheed were as powerful since its critics suggest, we may possess a lot more F-22s than were actually built.”

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