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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

2011's top (maybe best?) personnel moves

EDITOR'S NOTE: This blog was updated to clarify Dennis Stolkey's new role with Hewlett Packard Co.

The budget and economy dominated the news in 2011, but looking back at our coverage another topic also pops up and that the large number of significant personnel moves.

We had some top-level CEOs announce their retirements, a couple firings, some promotions and new hires that should have an impact on the market and individual companies in the year ahead.

I’m not ranking these, but here is a rundown of what I think were important executive moves in the market.

Ballhaus for Sloane at SRA 

What a year for this company. It opened 2011 struggling a bit as a public company. Those financial problems opened the way for a private equity group to acquire SRA, which led to the departure of CEO Stanton Sloane. He was replaced by Bill Ballhaus

As 2011 came to a close, SRA made another high profile hire when it plucked Deb Alderson from the unemployment line. She was the president of Science Applications International Corp.’s defense business and was fired because of a scandal involving a New York City contract held by her group. Though she was not implicated in any wrongdoing, the company felt it needed to make a change. 

And to round out the SRA story, Sloane quickly found a new gig with Decision Sciences International, which tapped him to be its president and CEO.

HP welcomes a familiar face 

Hewlett-Packard was in the midst of a mind-boggling retrenching of its mobile and PC businesses when it quickly dumped its CEO Leo Apotheker and replaced him with former eBay CEO Meg Whitman

Apotheker was leading an effort that included dumping HP’s mobile devices, a huge acquisition of a software company and the possible sale of its PC business. 

HP’s board wasn’t bothered by the strategy; they just didn’t think Apotheker was the right leader. Since Whitman came on as CEO – she already was a board member – the company backed off the sale of its PC business, but the rest of the strategy is intact. 

On a side note, Dennis Stolkey, who led HP’s Enterprise Services’ U.S. public-sector IT services business, is headed to Plano, Texas, to oversee all of HP Enterprise Services' American region. His replacement is expected to be named soon.

Morea bids adieu to CGI 

Donna Morea grew up at American Management Systems and quickly rose to the top at CGI Group, which acquired AMS in 2004. She ran the state and local business, then federal and then oversaw all the North American government and commercial business. She’s slated to join the board. 

CGI had no problem quickly filling her spot. George Schindler, another long-time executive with the company and president of federal, now has the reins of all of North America. Stepping into his old role at federal is Donna Ryan, yet another veteran of CGI and AMS.

CSC and SAIC hunt for new CEOs

Speaking of retirements, Computer Sciences Corp. and SAIC both announced that their CEOs were retiring.

Michael Laphen gave 12 months' notice, while SAIC’s Walt Havenstein gave about nine months notice. Both want to ensure a smooth transition to leaders at their companies.

GTSI shores up executive suite 

GTSI started 2011 trying to overcome the stain of being suspended by the Small Business Administration. Contrary to a lot of predictions, the company is still in business and making moves to build its services business. 

One of its positive steps was hiring Jeremy Wensinger as chief operating officer. He was president of Cobham Defense Systems and served as group president of the government communication systems unit at Harris Corp. 

His hire is another step away from the traditional reseller business for GTSI.

TASC goes on a hiring spree 

TASC would probably make my list just for bringing David Langstaff on as CEO. Langstaff was the company’s chairman, having helped broker the private equity deal that pulled TASC out of Northrop Grumman in 2009. He became CEO in March of this year when Wood Parker retired. 

Langstaff led Veridian in the 1990s and early 2000s, before selling the company to General Dynamics. 

But on top of Langstaff’s hiring, and perhaps more telling for the direction of the company is the string of other hires TASC has made.

  • Retired Vice Adm. Thomas Kilcline Jr. was named vice president of a new naval programs unit.
  • Bob Silsby, a former senior CIA official, was hired as vice president of the TASC business and technology office.
  • Bob Pattishall, formerly of Northrop Grumman and a senior VP at Veridian, came on board as vice president of the Systems Engineering and Integration Community of Excellence. He’s also a 25-year CIA veteran.
  • Dale Luddeke, formerly CACI’s executive vice president for corporate business development, was named chief growth officer to lead business development and merger-and-acquisition activities.
  • John P. Hynes Jr. became senior vice president of the Defense and Civil Group. It's his second stint at TASC. He worked there from 1990 to 2001. He returns from SAIC, where he was a senior VP and general manager of the mission support business unit.

Not a bad run of new hires.

Some other executives moves of note:

  • Kay Kapoor, formerly of Lockheed Martin, took over Accenture’s federal business.
  • Dell Services Federal Government hires George Newstrom to run its defense and national security business.
  • Todd Stottlemyer took the reins of Interactive Technology Solutions in late 2010 and has rebranded the company as Ascentia.

I’m sure some will argue that I’ve missed some critical hires, so please send your comments. Who do you think will make a big impact in 2012?

Without a doubt it was a business year for recruiters and human resources departments. I think some of the moves were driven by timing and the bad economy. I wonder what 2012 will bring.

Any predictions?

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Dec 09, 2011 at 7:23 PM


Reader Comments

Tue, Dec 13, 2011 Evan Scott DC

You missed a couple:Judy Marks, CEO at Siemens Infrastruture Division. Ken Asbury,CEO ar ASRC-Federal

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