William H. Swanson is Chairman*, Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN). Raytheon Company, with 2013 sales of $24 billion and 63,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass.
Swanson became chairman in January 2004, and served as chief executive officer (CEO) of the company from July 2003 to March 2014. Prior to that, he was president of the company, responsible for Raytheon’s government and defense operations.
During Swanson’s tenure as CEO, Raytheon’s sales grew 26 percent, its stock price and dividend each increased three-fold and company debt was virtually eliminated. He also strengthened Raytheon’s culture with a focus on core company values, ethics, diversity and the customer, while transforming the company’s community engagement by championing corporate responsibility, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and armed services support.
Swanson joined Raytheon in 1972 and has held a wide range of leadership positions, including manufacturing manager of the company’s largest operation, senior vice president and general manager of the Missile Systems Division, general manager of Raytheon Electronic Systems, president of Electronic Systems, and chairman and chief executive officer of Raytheon Systems Company.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Swanson is a member of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation board, the NextEra Energy, Inc. board of directors and is vice chairperson of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation board of directors. He is active in the field of education as chairman of the California Polytechnic State University Foundation board of directors, and as a member of the Cal Poly President’s Cabinet and the University of Massachusetts President’s Advisory Council. Swanson also serves as honorary chair of MATHCOUNTS®, and is chairman emeritus of the Business-Higher Education Forum, and a member of its executive committee.
Swanson is a member of the board of governors’ executive committee of the Aerospace Industries Association and is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He serves as a member of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), the Air Force Association, the Association of the United States Army, and the Navy League. He is a member of the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation board of advisors and the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.
Selected as Outstanding Industrial Engineering Graduate in 1972, Swanson was also recognized as the Honored Alumnus from California Polytechnic State University School of Engineering in 1991. He received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the American Association of Community Colleges in 2013. Additionally, he was awarded the Semper Fidelis Award from the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, and Aviation Week and Space Technology’s Laurel Award for his “significant contributions” to the aeronautics and propulsion field. Swanson was also named the “California Manufacturer of the Year” by the California Manufacturing and Technology Association, and is a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (United Kingdom).
Swanson has received the Navy League Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz Award, the NDIA James Forrestal Industry Leadership Award, the John W. Dixon Award from the Association of the United States Army, a Diversity Best Practices CEO Diversity Leadership Award, the Institute of Industrial Engineers’ Captains of Industry Award, the Six Sigma Premier Leader Award from the International Society of Six Sigma Professionals, a Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship, and the Kennedy Greenway Vision Award.
A native of California, Swanson graduated magna cum laude from California Polytechnic State University with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. His graduate work was performed in business administration at Golden Gate University. He has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Pepperdine University and an honorary Doctor of Science degree from California Polytechnic State University.
* The Raytheon Board of Directors announced July 28, 2014 that William H. Swanson will retire from the Company effective Sept. 30, 2014. Thomas A. Kennedy, Raytheon’s CEO, will succeed Mr. Swanson as Chairman of the Board effective Oct. 1, 2014.
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