Arlington-based CACI International has appointed Kenneth Asbury president and chief executive, taking over from Daniel D. Allen, who just assumed the role last year.
The company said the move is part of a larger initiative to refocus on winning work, particularly as government contracting becomes more competitive.
The board “saw [the] world was changing around us, and we did not feel we were adequately positioned internally for a focus on the organic competition that was going to come,” said Jack London, CACI’s executive chairman, in a call with investors last week. “The objective here was to get out in front of the issues.”
Asbury, 58, spent almost 30 years at Bethesda-based contracting giant Lockheed Martin, overseeing the company’s technical operations, mission services and civil businesses. He has most recently served as president and chief executive of ASRC Federal.
Asbury vowed last week to directly oversee the company’s contract-winning efforts. As part of the changes, CACI’s business development organization will now report to him.
“I would like to be personally involved in every one of the major bids that we see in front of us,” Asbury told investors.
He will receive a base salary of $750,000 and an incentive bonus target of $1 million, along with a long-term incentive stock grant of 300,000 performance-based restricted stock units that begin vesting after three years on the job, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
CACI said Allen, a former Northrop Grumman employee who joined CACI as chief operating officer in 2011 and became CEO in July, is departing “to pursue personal interests.”
The move comes as many contractors are rethinking their leadership and their businesses in the face of government spending declines. Lockheed, General Dynamics and Science Applications International Corp. have all selected new chief executives over the last year.
George A. Price Jr., senior equity research analyst for information technology services at BB&T Capital Markets, noted that other contractors are also rethinking their organizations, such as divesting its services unit as L-3 did with Engility and splitting in two as SAIC is doing.
“These companies are stepping back, taking a look at the environment and the market and saying we need to make some very real changes,” he said. “I think this is CACI’s answer to that.”
Still, he and William Loomis, managing director at Stifel Nicolaus, said the abrupt change raises some concerns.
The company has managed to post fairly stable returns. In its most recent quarter, CACI said profit dipped 3.4 percent from the same period a year ago to $39.7 million, a relatively small decline in comparison to some of its competitors.
The surprising appointment “gives me a lack of confidence” in the company’s financial forecasts, Loomis said.