WASHINGTON ― Lockheed Martin is reshuffling its program leadership, announcing Thursday that the executive vice president and general manager of the F-35 program, Jeff Babione, will be elevated to vice president and general manager of advanced development programs ― also known as Skunk Works.

Babione will replace the retiring Rob Weiss on March 19. Weiss has been at the company for almost 34 years after spending nearly a decade in the U.S. Navy.

Greg Ulmer, currently the vice president of the F-35 aircraft production business unit, will take up Babione’s position at the Joint Strike Fighter program.

The change comes as the United States’ top F-35 program official has publicly shared his dissatisfaction with the pace of ongoing negotiations with Lockheed Martin for the 11th batch of Joint Strike Fighters.

“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 of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. “This key leadership transition allows Lockheed Martin to continue partnering with our customers to help address the urgent needs of the world around us.”

Daniel Cebul is an editorial fellow and general assignments writer for Defense News, C4ISRNET, Fifth Domain and Federal Times.

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