Earlier this month, Dan Johnson was elevated to President of General Dynamics Information Technology shortly after being named to the ExecutiveBiz Top Ten “Beltway Game Changers” list.
And now, after a storied career spanning nearly 30 years as a leading technology executive, Northrop Grumman Information Technology sector corporate vice president and president – and fellow Beltway Game Changer James O’Neill – is stepping aside. Effective May 1st – exactly four years to the day after he assumed the role – O’Neill will retire, with Linda Mills, who served as the sector's vice president for operations and processes, succeeding him in that position.
As was the case with Johnson, I can logically deduce that the ExecutiveBiz distinction played a role in his decision. For all the accomplishments O’Neill can point to throughout his career, he held off retiring until receiving that one final, elusive accolade from ExecutiveBiz.
Ok, reality check time. It is more likely O’Neill felt the timing was right because his efforts the past several years had successfully put Northrop’s IT sector in a strong position for continued growth, and felt comfortable handing over the reigns of the $4 billion, 18,500 employee IT sector to an executive of Mills’ caliber.
Mills came to Northrop Grumman after the TRW acquisition in 2002 and will lead a premier provider of advanced information technology, engineering, and business solutions for domestic and international government clients. O'Neill will serve as a strategic adviser to Mills – who will report to Ronald Sugar, chairman and chief executive officer at Northrop Grumman – until his May 1 retirement date.
Brian Lustig is co-founder of Lustig Communications, a Rockville, MD-based communications firm that works with growing technology and government IT firms. Lustig is also a contributor to local business and industry publications.