Lockheed's Hewson sets personal tone in CEO debut

Marillyn Hewson talks about pride, and her love for Lockheed Martin, as she takes the reins as the company's new CEO.

In just her second day on the job as the new CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp., Marillyn Hewson issued a video that was as much a pep talk as any kind of strategy manifesto.

But, it might even be a little more than that, as well.

Her company, and the rest of the industry, are facing a challenging future. We’ve received a two-month reprieve on sequestration, but it really doesn’t count for much.

Hewson doesn’t, however, waste time in her debut video wringing her hands or lamenting the current budget situation. though I’m sure she’ll keep Lockheed Martin front and center in urging Congress and President Obama to set a more sustainable and predictable budget framework.

In this message to Lockheed Martin employees, she focuses on the one thing that the company can have some control over: the work and the mission.

She talks about the technologies and solutions that the company has developed from fighter jets to cybersecurity. She talks about a commitment to customers.

She talks about her upcoming 30th anniversary with the company. She talks about pride and love for the company. Her tone and message were decidedly optimistic and upbeat.

In short, she’s taking the first step toward putting her stamp on the company, and becoming its public face.

Hewson’s long history at Lockheed adds a lot of credibility to her message. When you spend 30 years at a company, how it succeeds and fails says something about your character, values and beliefs.

So, my take away is that, for Hewson, running Lockheed Martin isn’t just a job, it’s personal.