Early life and education
Hewson was born in Junction City, Kansas to Warren Adams and Mary Adams. Her father died when she was nine-years-old and her mother, a former WAC, raised five siblings, then aged five to 15. Hewson credits her mother’s resilience, hard work, and determination with teaching her leadership skills and wrote, in “A mother’s resilience”, for Politico, in 2013, that “My mother did what all great leaders do: She sparked the growth of future leaders.”
She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and her Master of Arts degree in economics from the University of Alabama. She also attended the Columbia Business School and Harvard Business School executive development programs.
Hewson joined the Lockheed Corporation in 1983. She has held a variety of executive positions with the company, including President and Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President of Lockheed Martin’s Electronic Systems business area, President of Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, Executive Vice President of Global Sustainment for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, President and General Manager of Kelly Aviation Center, L.P., and President of Lockheed Martin Logistics Services. On November 9, 2012, she was elected to Lockheed Martin’s board of directors. She has been the CEO since January 2013. She also serves on the board of directors for Sandia National Laboratories since 2010 and DuPont since 2007. Since becoming CEO in 2013, Lockheed’s market cap has doubled.
In July 2015, Hewson announced the purchase of Sikorsky Aircraft, the producers of Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, giving Lockheed its own helicopter building capability. Hewson has also shifted more company efforts towards building military hardware. Hewson joined the board of Johnson & Johnson in 2019.
In 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015 she was named by Fortune magazine as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business”. In the September 15, 2015 issue of Fortune, Hewson was ranked 4th. In 2018, Hewson was named the most powerful woman in the world by Fortune.
Hewson was named the 21st most powerful woman in the world by Forbes in 2014, and, in 2015, as the 20th most powerful woman in the world. In 2018, she was named the ninth most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. In 2019 she was listed as #10.
Hewson was inducted into the 2017 edition of the Wash100 for international market focus and F-35 leadership.