BATTLESPACE BUSINESSMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD 2005
BATTLESPACE Editor Julian Nettlefold meets Ian Stopps, Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin UK
BATTLESPACE is delighted to name Ian Stopps, Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin UK, as the BATTLESPACE BUSINESSMAN OF THE YEAR for 2005, succeeding Mark Newman, Chairman and CEO of DRS.
“What do you see as the key message that epitomises the activities of Lockheed Martin UK?” Julian Nettlefold asked Ian Stopps.
“Trust and faith in our ability to complete programmes on time and on budget is a key enabler in our relationship with our key UK customers both civil and military. The establishment of Lockheed Martin UK (LMUK)gives our customers a central point of contact to establish a working relationship prior to, during and after contract award.”
“When considering bidding programmes what criteria do you apply and why, for instance, did you pull out of the NHS and DII competitions?” the Editor asked
“In making a decision to bid any programme we have to be sure that we can perform to the contract requirements of our customer and deliver on time and on budget. It is also about being honest and frank with your customers. The UK C-130J programme is a case in point. Here the process of obtaining FAA Certification for the aircraft took longer than we had expected. We therefore informed our customer of these difficulties and took responsibility for our shortfalls. With both the NHS and DII opportunities, we decided to withdraw from the bids because we saw that the contract requirements did not meet an acceptable business model nor proposition for our business. However, in both cases we made sure that we pulled out at a point that still left our customers with a robust competition and not simply facing a sole source option. LMUK is absolutely focused on only getting involved in programmes where we are 100% certain we can meet all our customers requirements, add real value and provide proper returns for all our stakeholders.”
“There are two concepts that feature heavily in the kinds of complex programmes in which Lockheed Martin UK is involved – systems integration and synergy. For some companies, these are just useful labels – to us they are fundamental to the way we work and are inextricably linked”
“What was the thinking behind the formation of Lockheed Martin UK as a separate entity?” the Editor asked
“The main reason was in response to the wishes of our customers. There was a need for a single entity that could speak for and represent the entire corporation in this country. Our customers now have that single point of contact which can provide them with access to the breadth of technologies, skills and experience right across the entire organisation. However, to fully understand the need for LMUK, you need to first look at the legacy inherited in 1990 and to the various mergers and acquisitions that led to the creation of Lockheed Martin.”
Ian Stopps graduated from Loughborough University in 1969 with a first class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering. His wish was to use his expertise in a business role rather than in pure engineering. Having considered positions with various UK organisations, including Rolls Royce, his break came when he accepted a Technical Marketing position at GE USA. He emigrated and took up the post under the eventual leadership of Jack Welch. Having been headhunted to Goodrich for a period from 1987, Stopps returned to GE in 1990 as part of Welch’s plan to develop its Aerospace Division into the No1 position in the world.
At the time GE’s Aerospace Division exported a mere 5% of its turnover but after three years was beginning to make real progress internationally. Jack Welch, renowned for his dislike of dealing with Governments, was approached by Norm Augustine, Chairman of Martin Marietta, and agreed to sell the business. Martin Marietta brought GE Aerospace in 1993 and in doing so inherited a turnover of $5bn.
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