Seeking to grow, CACI makes business development additions

July 21, 2013

Seeking to amp up sales despite a lackluster market, Arlington-based CACI International has named two new business development executives who will report directly to the top.

The company has made boosting its sales efforts a key focus, even replacing a brand-new chief executive last year after the board said the company was not sufficiently positioned. In recent quarters, its profit has dipped as government spending has waned.

Kenneth Asbury was tapped to take over as chief executive and has vowed to be involved in CACI’s efforts to win contracts.

He said last week that the new hires — Suzan F. Zimmerman, senior vice president for strategic campaigns, and Donald Fulop, executive vice president for business development — are crucial to the company’s efforts.

“This is not a time to be cautious,” he said. “We are going to find the right talent [and] put them into place.”

Zimmerman comes to CACI from Qinetiq North America, where she was tasked with winning work from the Defense Department and other federal agencies. She also handled business development at McLean-based Science Applications International Corp.

At CACI, she’ll focus on what the company is calling “campaign pursuits,” or larger work that goes beyond the scope of a single business group.

Asbury said the contractor will take on one or two large targets a year. These type of efforts would be comparable in size and scale to the contract recently awarded to Hewlett-Packard to manage a next-generation intranet for the Navy and Marine Corps, he said. That program is worth up to $3.5 billion.

The approach is “a way to accelerate growth,” said Asbury of the long-term initiative.

Fulop retired from Lockheed Martin in 2011 after a 20-year career, during which he sold work to the intelligence community, the Pentagon and NASA. After retirement, he worked as a consultant to other aerospace, defense and services companies, according to CACI.

Fulop will handle day-to-day management of the company’s business development.

Both executives will answer to Asbury, as he seeks to reenergize the company’s contract wins.

“Every business that I’ve ever been in, I’ve always had business development report directly to me,” he said. “Growing the business is my principal preoccupation.”

Other contractors, too, are reworking their sales organizations. Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin, for instance, just established a international group that will seek to boost the company’s work abroad. Still, CACI has been one of the most vocal about its focus.

William Loomis, managing director at the financial services firm Stifel Nicolaus, said the hiring fits with the contractor’s push to win larger contracts.

But he cautioned that the business development job is one of the most demanding in the industry, partly because of the length of contracts, which can last for five years or more.

“If you make bad decisions, they stick around your organization for quite a while,” he said. “If you don’t make aggressive enough calls on strategy or pricing, you’re not going to win business, so it’s a very difficult position.”

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