A DYNAMIC 18 MONTHS!
By Scott R. Gourley
Scott Gourley interviews R. Andrew (Andy) Hove, Executive Vice President and President, Defense for Oshkosh Corporation
On 2 March 2009 Oshkosh Corporation announced that Hove had joined the company as corporate Executive Vice President and President of Oshkosh Defense. Succeeding W. John Stoddart, Hove assumed responsibility for all aspects of the company’s approximately $USD 2 billion defense business segment, including tactical wheeled vehicle programs, technology development and aftermarket parts and service.
Hove came to Oshkosh with a background of more than two decades of defense industry management and operational experience, including more than a decade as a U.S. Army officer serving in tank and mechanized infantry units. Prior to arrival at Oshkosh, he worked at BAE Systems, Inc., where he served as Vice President, Combat Systems Programs and was responsible for a portfolio of domestic and international ground vehicle programs, including Bradley Combat Systems. Prior to that, Hove was employed with United Defense, FNSS Defense Systems and Vinnel Corporation in program management, business development and international operations.
Hove holds a bachelor’s degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University, a master’s degree in national security affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School and a master’s degree in business management from the University of Michigan. He also holds a certificate in program management from the Defense Acquisition University.
At the time of Hove’s appointment as President of Oshkosh Defense, Robert G. Bohn, Oshkosh Corporation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer observed, “We are pleased to have a talented individual such as Andy join Oshkosh Corporation to lead our Defense business. He is a strong relationship builder with extensive experience in ground systems and strategic business development, which aligns well with our company’s growth strategies. We look forward to the growth and expansion of the Oshkosh Defense business and product offering under Andy’s leadership.”
That leadership is perhaps best described as “straightforward,” and he was quick to get to the most important aspects during a recent interview with BATTLESPACE.
“Our message for the Warfighter is pretty simple,” he said. “They are why we are here. In Oshkosh Defense we don’t have any reason for being, other than to support them. And it is our intention to give them support across the entire life cycle on as many products as we possibly can. Not only are we going to build the products that they are using today, but we are going to provide in-field support for the ones that we have built in the past. We are also going to listen to them very carefully about what they are going to need tomorrow.”
Asked about his first 18 months at the helm and the recent programmatic growth at Oshkosh Defense, Hove offered, “Having a broadly diversified portfolio is not a particularly novel thought. And, it is one that Oshkosh had before I arrived here. If you look at where the company has come from, you will see that before I got here we were building all of the Army’s heavy trucks – the HEMTT [Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck], the PLS [Palletized Load System], and the HET [Heavy Equipment Transporter]. We were also building the Marine Corps’ heavy truck – the LVSR [Logistics Vehicle System Replacement]. And just before I got here the company had recently won a re-competition for the newest version of that. We had been supplying the Marine Corps’ medium truck – the MTVR [Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement]. And, of course, we had bid and offered solutions for the MRAP program. We actually won an award ‘early’ on in the MRAP program, although it was relatively small when compared to the other ones and quite small when compared to M-ATV [Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) All Terrain Vehicles]. So the company and the culture were there already.”
Reiterating that Oshkosh