Herndon-based LGS Innovations, the federal government-focused subsidiary of telecommunications business Alcatel-Lucent, plans to announce today that Kevin Kelly, the company’s chief operating officer, has been appointed chief executive.

Kelly takes over from retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronald W. Iverson, who was the company’s first chief executive. LGS is a descendant of Lucent Technologies, and was formed in 2007 after Lucent — also the parent company of the storied Bell Laboratories — merged with Alcatel. LGS was established separately and brings together the federally-focused portions of Lucent and Alcatel.

The appointment comes as LGS completes a five-year strategy meant to shift the company from working mainly as a vendor selling off-the-shelf products to a prime contractor, or integrator, able to sell customized products and associated services. Additionally, LGS has tried to expand from its base of military customers into more civilian agencies.

Kelly said the company has made progress on its strategy, including recently winning a spot to be eligible for work under a major National Institutes of Health contract.

Such wins “give us five to 10 years worth of new business opportunities,” he said.

Kevin Kelly, the new chief executive of LGS. (Ira Wexler )

At the same time, the company’s research and development workload has increasingly shifted to what Kelly called “applied science,” or technologies that can be used in the near-term, rather than long-term research meant to position the company for opportunities farther down the road.

Since beginning with 440 employees, LGS now has about 700 as well as another 140 open positions, primarily in engineering and software development.

Now, the company is particularly focused on mobility in the federal government. U.S. Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel has pointed to this area as a focus area for the government, spurring many firms to work on developing or repurposing products geared for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

Kelly started at what was then known as Lucent Technologies in the late 1990s. After leaving for about two years, he returned in 2004 and started Bell Labs’ federal services practice. He became chief operating officer last year. Kelly has also worked at GE Aerospace, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics.