Textron Systems CEO says company well positioned for industry reshaping

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the location of ByteGrid’s headquarters. This version has been corrected.

January 19

As defense contractors try to figure out how they’ll fit into a reshaped industry, Ellen Lord made the case for a multi-industry company.

The president and chief executive of Providence, R.I.-based Textron Systems, a unit of Textron, said she sees some companies digging into niche areas and others trying to get bigger. But Textron, she said at an Atlantic Council event last week, will succeed because of its wide range of work.

Textron has a portfolio that includes helicopters, automotive parts and financial services, among other work. Textron Systems, which has a Navy Yard office, is known for its unmanned aircraft and armored vehicles.

As a company, Textron can “share talent, technology and channels,” Lord said. “We have the ability to scale, and we have a commercially minded workforce.”

As government spending shrinks, she said that perspective will help Textron adapt. In particular, she said, pressure will be on contractors to produce a much smaller number of products at an affordable price. “I believe we really have an edge as a multi-industry company,” Lord said.

But don’t expect Textron to sit on the sidelines as the industry reshapes. Its parent company late last month said it has reached a deal to buy Beech Holdings, the parent of Beechcraft, for about $1.4 billion.

SAIC reorganizes management

McLean-based Science Applications International Corp. said last week it is reorganizing its corporate departments, and Tom Baybrook, its chief administration and operations officer, will depart.

The news comes just months after SAIC went through a split; the remaining SAIC is focused on government services, while its technology work is now part of Reston-based Leidos.

In the company’s announcement, Tony Moraco, SAIC’s chief executive, said the effort will streamline the company’s operations and make it more competitive.

Baybrook, who managed areas from real estate to procurement to government affairs, started at SAIC in 1999.

ByteGrid picks up Chicago data center

McLean-based ByteGrid is set to announce today it has bought a 70,000-square-foot data center in Aurora, Ill., about 30 miles west of downtown Chicago.

The deal is one in a streak of data center buys for ByteGrid, which bought one in Cleveland last year and another in Alpharetta, Ga. in 2012.

ByteGrid bought the center from an affiliate of CNA Financial, which will continue to occupy about 30 percent of the facility.

ThreatTrack opens in Reston

Clearwater-based ThreatTrack Security, which opened an office in Reston last year, is preparing to roll out new software targeted at government agencies and commercial businesses.

ThreatTrack’s history dates back to Sunbelt Software, which was founded in 1994 and came up with a line of antivirus products called Vipre as well as the CWSandbox, which containerizes malware.

In 2010, GFI Software acquired Sunbelt, and last year, spun off its security business into ThreatTrack.

Dipto Chakravarty, executive vice president of engineering and products, said the company is still selling its Vipre line.

But it is focused on rolling out next month a new line of software that will automatically mitigate threats to organizations. It features a dashboard that allows users to view where threats originated, what form they took and how severe they were.

The company now has nearly two dozen employees in the Reston office, but has capacity for about 75.

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