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Marillyn Hewson

70 - Marillyn Hewson
2012 Rank: 67

President & CEO, Lockheed Martin
Since becoming the head of the world’s leading defense contractor late last year, Hewson has largely followed in the footsteps of her predecessor Bob Stevens in preparing the company for the ongoing defense downturn. The company has dropped an additional 4,000 people from its payrolls since she took over, but continues to see strong revenue figures and stock prices thanks to continuing a share buyback plan and returning strong dividends to shareholders. Still, Hewson, who joined Lockheed in 1982 and worked her way up the ranks, faced a series of challenges. First, she worked to improve the company’s relationship with a Pentagon increasingly frustrated with the company over its management of the Joint Strike Fighter program and reluctance to increase internal research and development funding. On JSF, the relationship, by the admission of top officials, among them Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan (No. 40), has markedly improved as has program performance. Plus, in another nod to DoD and some investors who worry Lockheed dialed too far back, Hewson is spending more time talking about investments to keep the company on the cutting edge of key markets.