Speaking of his appointment, Gates said, "In the current climate, the defence industry has an important role to play in innovation, leadership and collaboration to ensure we have the best capability to protect Australia's sovereignty."
Gates' appointment will provide invaluable experience to QinetiQ Australia, managing director Greg Barsby said.
"Rear Admiral Gates has had a distinguished defence career and is a well-respected leader within defence industry. I am delighted to have such a strong champion of industry on the QinetiQ Australia Pty board," he said
"Read Admiral Gates brings invaluable experience and leadership that will help us to improve our customer focus and realise our vision to be a chosen partner for mission-critical solutions."
The announcement was made at Avalon 2017 and coincided with QinetiQ's announcement of their acquisition of Australian company RubiKon.
Gates joined Lockheed Martin in November 2010 and assumed the position of CEO of Lockheed Martin Australia in March 2011 and New Zealand in July 2013.
Under Gates' leadership, the company saw significant growth in orders and sales and doubled the Australian and New Zealand workforce. Major acquisition wins during this time included the MH-60 Romeo helicopter, confirmation of 72 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, ADF Pilot Training Program and Combat System for the Future Submarine.
Gates also served in the Royal Australian Navy for 37 years, retiring in 2008 as a Rear Admiral. A seaman officer, his sea service culminated with the command of two guided missile frigates. His flag officer (2 star) appointments include the inaugural Commander of the Australian Defence College, Maritime Commander Australia (including operational service during the 2003 Iraq war), and Defence Attaché and Head Australian Defence Staff (Washington, DC).
In his post-navy career, Gates was the CEO of the Kokoda Foundation and a private consultant working in the defence industry and national security areas. He also had mentoring and coaching roles in Leadership and Strategic studies at the Australian Defence College.
QinetiQ Australia provides advice and services across the aerospace, land and maritime domain of the defence industry.