Executive Spotlight: Interview with John DeSimone, VP of Cybersecurity and Special Missions at Raytheon

John DeSimone

John DeSimone, the vice president of Cybersecurity and Special Missions for Raytheon, recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz regarding the continued growth of the company, the impact emerging technologies are having on the market and the importance of Raytheon’s workforce and recruitment.

ExecutiveBiz: Raytheon’s IIS business had a very strong first quarter in 2019. How will you capitalize on the market to continue your success?

“We have had really strong growth over the past few years. Our business operates across almost every market space and we have a lot of opportunity for growth. We’re able to see a lot of trends and customer solutions that are required for those customers to fulfill their goals. As a result, we’ve been able to position ourselves quite nicely.

We specialize in all aspects of cyber and try to look at our broad set of capabilities to solve problems that are best aligned to our customers’ mission and our capabilities. As we put all these elements together, we’re focusing on outcomes based contracting or cyber as-a service. We believe that’ll be a trend we’re very well positioned to offer in this new area.”

ExecutiveBiz: What goals or initiatives are you excited about pursuing in 2019 and beyond?

“Our goal now is to figure out how to make the best use of our resources and capabilities to bring forward the best solutions for each of these new markets. We’re moving to provide technology at all ends of the spectrum and we are actively developing some very important partnerships that help us do that. Our focus is to augment our solutions with commercial solutions to increase the mission success rates and mission capabilities of our customers.

We believe data resiliency is an extremely important area. We’re working on investments inside the company and forming partnerships to provide solutions in that space. We are developing different prototypes that could be wrapped into a cyber as-a-service offering. So data resiliency is an exciting area we are actively pursuing to help bring better protection solutions to our mission partners.”

ExecutiveBiz: What is Raytheon doing to implement cloud, AI and other emerging technologies effectively while some companies are struggling to do the same?

“Cloud, AI, machine learning, 5G, Agile Dev, Sec Ops are the latest technology trends that affect all businesses in today’s connected world. Those are important market trends that we see and we’re building skills, capabilities, partnerships and technology to address security solutions around those areas. As they continue to evolve, they will impact the security landscape, so as leaders in that space we have a responsibility to bring security to the forefront.

I think you also have to have the right people. We pride ourselves on our workforce and continue to recruit and attract the best and brightest because people are what makes the business world go around. We continue to focus on staffing, training and the development of our workforce to bring those talented people into the mission space, build the solutions we have and innovate to provide new solutions.”

ExecutiveBiz: What are some of the methods Raytheon is using to recruit and retain talent in cybersecurity?

“If you can imagine it, we’re probably doing it. We find exposing our employees to the variety of problems across all markets keeps them interested, especially in cyberspace. Education programs are absolutely critical. Any way you can entice the younger generation to engage with innovative training programs, that’s the approach we need as an industry. The more education and awareness we can shed on cyber, the better off we’re going to be in the future.”

Prior to joining Raytheon, DeSimone has held and served in a range of senior leadership roles with CSRA, IBM, CSS, Northrop Grumman, Motorola and others. DeSimone earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Computer Science from Columbia University in the City of New York in 1991.

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