Just a few weeks after a record 168 rockets were launched in a single day against Israel in August 2014, Lockheed Martin executive Haden Land was speaking in Tel Aviv at the fourth annual International Cybersecurity Conference. “There were fairly active missiles during that time,” he recalls. But Land was impressed with the high level of security—something he knows a lot about.
Headquartered: Bethesda, MD
Number of Employees: 116,000 worldwide
Global Boost: International sales contributed 20 percent of company revenue in 2014. International sales are expected to continue to increase, according to Lockheed Martin CEO Marilyn Hewson.
Forecast 2015 Revenue: $43.5 – $45 billion
Key Client: Lockheed Martin is the Pentagon’s prime contractor.
About: Lockheed Martin is one of the world’s largest defense contractors, principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacturing, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services.
As vice president of research and technology for Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems and Global Solutions (IS&GS) business, Land has pioneered new technical business solutions, information technology development and research, and overall growth and strategic direction for the leading global security and aerospace company.
The Maryland-based Lockheed Martin has been the top IT provider for the US government for the last twenty years, but amid a slowdown in US military spending, the corporation expanded its defense contracts to other allied nations and select commercial markets, according to Land.
Israel, for instance, is one of the newest nations with which Lockheed Martin has formed a strategic partnership. Along with the UK, Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Japan, the company’s more formal move into Israel is part of a larger effort to diversify its portfolio and become an international business.
“Establishing a footprint in-country is key,” Land says. “Rather than expand operations from the US, it’s much more effective to build out businesses and serve neighboring nations from those countries.”
In the US, UK, and Australia, for example, the company has constructed its NexGen Cyber Innovation and Technology Centers, which provide local support in areas of IT solutions, cybersecurity, data analytics, cloud computing, energy and aerospace transportation solutions, and other related tech areas.
In Israel, Lockheed Martin opened its first Cyber Research Center last year in the Beersheba Advanced Technologies Park. “Establishing that center with Israel was a very strategic move and demonstrated our commitment to supporting the Israel Defense Force,” Land says. Additionally, Land believes the office will produce “an ideal ecosystem to generate intellectual property and export it in that region.”
Opening international operations does not happen without challenges. “It’s definitely a different animal than working in the US,” he says. “Procurement laws are different; budget cycles are different; cultural factors are different; foreign and domestic policy and even human rights are different.”
But it’s all part of being a global player. As the company works on its expansion plans, Land identifies three core pillars of its strategy: “Strengthening our foundation is about focusing on what we do well,” he says. “Reshaping our operations,” he continues, “deals with price and performance and being prudent in how we invest our dollars to look at capital consolidation.” And last but not least, “evolving our culture,” he says, “is about staying open to diversity and inclusion and focusing on talent management and ethical behavior.”
But Land’s 30-year commitment to Lockheed Martin’s IT systems and cybersecurity business goes beyond corporate goals to more personal ambitions.
“I have a pretty unwavering commitment to STEM and STEAM,” he says, referring to his support of a diverse workforce informed by science, technology, engineering, art, and math. “Having a keen awareness of innovation requires a professional who can problem-solve and do creative thinking,” he says.
Land strongly believes that the country needs to find creative ways to increase an interest in STEAM nationwide. “Many of the jobs of the future will need people with convergent and divergent thinking,” says Land, who cites such sci-fi-sounding occupations as Quantum Linguist, Web Archeologist, Biomimicry Analyst, and Tele-surgeon as potential examples. In the US today, he adds, there are some 300,000 open and available cyber-related jobs.
As a board director of HITEC* (the Hispanic IT Executive Council), Land is also focused on “pushing up and pulling up Latinos and Latinas into more executive level positions to create icons for the next generation of Hispanic children to look up to.”
With the growing number of Hispanics in the US, Land suggests that his role at HITEC isn’t solely motivated by personal interests, but also by a strategic importance to the country.
“If we’re going to establish our nation as a global competitor and move the needle on STEAM,” he says, “we need to move the needle in the Hispanic population, too.”
*Haden Land sits on the HITEC board of directors along with May/June 2015 cover stars Myrna Soto, Ileana Rivera, and HITEC president, Andre Arbelaez.