Lockheed CEO Pushes for More Partnerships, Open Markets



Lockheed Martin [NYSE:LMT] Chairman, President and CEO Bob Stevens today told a group of journalists that as the global security environment becomes more complex, and the definition of “security” evolves, the answer to the challenges lies in the ability to form strong, healthy global partnerships.

Stevens, speaking at the company’s media dinner on the eve of the Paris Air Show, made a forceful case for open, integrated transatlantic partnerships as an essential part of global security. “At Lockheed Martin,” he said, “we recognize that global security is human security.”

Pointing to persistent and diverse worldwide challenges including nuclear proliferation, terrorism, piracy and cyber attacks—as well as growing concern over the sustainability of the planet’s environment and the downturn in world economies—Stevens told the group: “Our fates and fortunes are linked, as peoples, countries and regions.”

Stevens said the challenge is not only redefining what “global security” means but also considering how the challenges of global security will best be met. “To meet the demands that we face together, we must work together, and that means global markets must remain open, and global partnerships must remain healthy and mutually beneficial,” he said.

Referring to the temptation some nations may have during difficult times to look inward to protect companies and markets, Stevens described protectionism as “a counterproductive response, distorting markets and dislocating trade flows that, in the long run hurts customers, companies and taxpayers alike.” He cited the European Commission’s Directive on Defence Procurement as an encouraging development that will help to introduce more competition into the European market. “Of course, an open, integrated transatlantic marketplace requires a two-way street, and Lockheed Martin has been promoting this course of action for years,” he added.

Stevens reminded the group that the world’s security challenges are not going away, nor are they getting less complicated. “Their volume and their consequences are rising. At a time of global economic stress, the resources available to meet these challenges are constrained, and that means execution and affordability are more important than ever. And understanding how our customers define value, and making sure we provide it each time, every time, is more critical to us than ever,” he said.

“I am confident we are going to meet these future challenges,” he said, adding that Lockheed Martin is “a business of fundamentals—performance excellence, superior value, unquestionable integrity.”

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.