WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin announced Jan. 29 the appointment of Greg Ulmer as the company’s executive vice president of aeronautics, making him the top executive overseeing flagship aviation programs such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as well as the secretive Skunk Works development shop.

Ulmer, 56, has spent the past three years leading the F-35 program, Lockheed’s largest effort and one of its biggest money makers. As vice president and general manager, Ulmer oversaw the program as the focus transitioned from development to driving down procurement and sustainment costs.

He also previously worked as the head of operations at Skunk Works, the advanced development arm of Lockheed known for its work on secret projects.

“With Greg’s wide-ranging experience and impressive record of leadership, we are confident that Aeronautics will continue its legacy of success under his leadership,” said Lockheed President and CEO Jim Taiclet.

Ulmer replaces Michele Evans, who passed away earlier this month. Over the past two years, Evans had taken medical leaves of absence due to a cancer diagnosis. During those periods, Ulmer filled in as the head of the aeronautics business.

He officially takes over the executive vice president role on Feb. 1, the company stated.

Ulmer graduated from California Polytechnic State University with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering and obtained a master’s degree in business management from the University of Tennessee.

In addition to Ulmer’s appointment, the company announced that Taiclet will become chairman of the board on March 1, after former CEO Marillyn Hewson retires as executive chairman. Hewson will continue work as a strategic adviser to Taiclet until Feb. 28, 2022.

Valerie Insinna is Defense News' air warfare reporter. She previously worked the Navy/congressional beats for Defense Daily, which followed almost three years as a staff writer for National Defense Magazine. Prior to that, she worked as an editorial assistant for the Tokyo Shimbun’s Washington bureau.

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