Lockheed Martin announces new Skunk Works, F-35 program leaders

Lockheed Martin announced March 1 that Jeff Babione has been named the vice president and general manager of Advanced Development Programs – also known as Skunk Works® – succeeding Rob Weiss who will retire at the end of 2018.

Greg Ulmer has been named vice president and general manager of the F-35 Program succeeding Babione. These changes are effective March 19.
Babione will focus on maintaining the historic success of ADP using the Skunk Works principles – quick, quiet, and quality – to showcase Lockheed Martin’s continuous support for the warfighter. Ulmer, who most recently served as vice president, F-35 Aircraft Production Business Unit (PBU), will maintain the positive program momentum and ensure the F-35 program meets the speed, agility, quality and affordability requirements outlined by U.S. and international customers.

“Jeff and Greg are seasoned leaders, both uniquely qualified to lead our Skunk Works and F-35 teams through a time of rapid program growth,” said Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. “They both bring a deep understanding of the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ portfolio and strong customer relationships. This key leadership transition allows Lockheed Martin to continue partnering with our customers to help address the urgent needs of the world around us.”

A Lockheed Martin employee for more than 25 years, most recently as executive vice president and general manager F-35 program, Babione successfully led the development, production, and sustainment efforts across the three F-35 variants for 13 military services in nine partner countries and a growing list of foreign military sales customers. Under his leadership, the F-35 team supported many customer milestones including, the Initial Operational Capability announcements for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps and Israeli Air Force, and the recent First Aircraft Arrivals to Norway and Japan. Prior to his current role, he served as vice president and deputy general manager F-35 program and before that as vice president and general manager of the F-16/F-22 Integrated Fighter Group. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace and Ocean Engineering from Virginia Tech; a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Washington; and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee.

For the past two years, Ulmer served as vice president, F-35 Aircraft PBU. He was responsible for executing all production contracts and set the priorities and strategy for the F-35 PBU as the enterprise approaches global full rate production. Ulmer’s leadership was instrumental in the team meeting its delivery milestone of 66 aircraft in 2017 – the highest number on record. He has 30 years of aerospace experience and during his more than 22-year career at Lockheed Martin, he has held a variety of leadership positions. These include vice president, Operations and Production Programs for the Advanced Development Program Skunk Works; and vice president of Aeronautics Programs and Operations for Maintenance, Modification, Repair and Overhaul. He also served as vice president for the C-5M modernization program and deputy vice president for the C-130J program. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University; and a master’s degree in Aviation and Aerospace Business Management from the University of Tennessee.

“I want to congratulate Rob Weiss on his tremendous career. For nearly 34 years with the company and almost a decade with the U.S. Navy, Rob has successfully delivered innovation and growth both for the businesses he was responsible for, and also for the people he led,” said Carvalho. “Under his leadership, the Skunk Works has been laser-focused on delivering capabilities with the speed and agility required by our nation and allies.”

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