Defence Connect can confirm that Joe North has been appointed chief executive, Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand, with Thompson assuming the newly created position of deputy country executive, Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand.
Over a career that has spanned 30 years with Lockheed Martin, North has a proven record of leading the delivery of capability platforms, most recently as vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) operations for Australia and New Zealand.
During his time with Lockheed Martin, he has provided an environment of innovation and entrepreneurship for employees, leading major capability programs for the US Navy. In recent years he has led the Lockheed Martin LCS program, supporting new construction (of 14 ships), class services, sustainment and international efforts, including five years spent in Japan focusing on delivering Japanese self defence capability in the maritime domain.
North said he was proud to have the opportunity to lead Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand at what is a critical period for the modernisation of Australia’s defence capability.
"Lockheed Martin is at the forefront of delivering state-of-the-art defence capabilities for Australia in the air, sea and space domains, and I am proud to be able to contribute to this critical transformation. I am also extremely privileged to have the opportunity to lead such an exemplary team as we focus on delivering for our customers and support the continued development of a sovereign defence capability for Australia," he said.
As CEO, North will lead the growth of Lockheed Martin’s Australian and New Zealand businesses both domestically and for international export, as well as serving as the lead representative in the delivery of Lockheed Martin’s programs, products and services. North will report to executive vice president for Lockheed International, Rick Edwards.
A former Royal Australian Navy officer, Thompson joined Lockheed Martin in 2004 and has had a distinguished career, most recently as director of strategic engagement for Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand.
In that role, Thompson had oversight of Australian business growth activities and managing the corporation’s Australian community engagement initiatives.
Immediately prior to this appointment, Thompson was interim CEO of Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand. As deputy country executive, he will continue his focus on government and customer relations, reporting to North.
Edwards said the appointments were a clear indication of Lockheed Martin’s ongoing customer focus and commitment to program delivery in Australia and New Zealand.
"Joe has proven himself in leadership roles on significant programs and his appointment as chief executive demonstrates we remain committed to delivering for our customers in Australia and New Zealand. With his experience, Joe will provide a critical link to our US technological backbone and expertise which is critical to ensuring we can continue to support the development of a future sovereign defence capability for Australia," Edwards said.
Commenting on his appointment, Thompson confirmed his core focus would remain on ensuring Lockheed Martin remained Australia’s partner of choice for defence, aerospace, sustainment and technology solutions.
"Lockheed Martin has continued to grow its presence in Australia and New Zealand through a focus on putting the needs of our customers first and delivering the innovative ‘future generation’ technologies these nations need to secure their national interests. We will continue to partner with local industry and research organisations, and we remain committed to delivering sustainable development in the regions and investing in local communities," Thompson said.
Headquartered in Canberra, Lockheed Martin Australia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation. The company employs more than 1,000 people in Australia working on a wide range of major programs spanning the aerospace, defence and civil sectors.