The chief executive who shepherded McLean-based Science Applications International Corp. through the most significant restructuring in its nearly 45-year history plans to announce his retirement today.
John P. Jumper became chief executive of SAIC in early 2012, taking over a storied contractor that was facing a host of problems, from declining sales to a scandal surrounding a New York City contract that resulted in the removal of three company executives.
Almost immediately, Jumper took dramatic steps to reposition SAIC. Within months of his arrival, the contractor announced it would split into two pieces: a government services business that would retain the SAIC name and a technology company renamed Leidos that is focused on national security, engineering and health.
Following the split, which took more than a year and was completed in the fall, Jumper became chief executive of Reston-based Leidos. A retired four-star general, he previously served as Air Force chief of staff.
Jumper said in an interview Tuesday that he found overseeing SAIC’s split the most rewarding accomplishment of his tenure.
“I brought to the company the skills that I have at the right time [and] at the right place,” he said. “Now it’s time to really transition to someone who can drive the financial results and brings that career full of business experience.”
The Leidos board has begun searching for a new chief executive, looking at both internal and external candidates. Jumper has committed to stay on until a successor is named.
He said he would advise the new CEO to have “the mindset that there’s nothing broken that needs to be fixed,” he said. “We just need to execute the strategy that’s in place.”
Still, he recognized that contractors have had tougher times in recent years, given automatic spending cuts and uncertain budgets.
“The impacts of sequestration and some of the headwinds that we had that were unanticipated, I think, have stood in the way of being all that we can be,” he said.