Contracting CEOs predict new competitors

By Marjorie Censer / June 6, 2018 at 12:26 PM

The defense and intelligence market could be upended by non-traditional new participants, two chief executives said during a panel this week.

Bill Weber, the chief executive of KeyW, said at an event hosted by Houlihan Lokey he sees a "real potential for a non-traditional prime to emerge in our space."

This company could come from the "West Coast, Silicon Valley" or be another high-tech business, he said.

"You see more of the threat coming from clandestine cyber," Weber added. "The tools that are being used are coming from a lot of those bigger organizations, and they are going to be brought into that challenge, that fight one way or another."

"You can imagine the names that just popped into your head might shock the world," he added. They'd say, "'Wow, I didn't imagine that they would get into the defense and intelligence prime contract holding space.'"

Charles Harrington, the chief executive of Parsons, said at the same event he too sees the opportunity for new entrants in the market.

"The government business has been fairly immune from a major change for decades and with what's happening in technology, the opportunity . . . for brand-new competitors in this space that catch everyone by surprise is probably more likely now than it's ever been," he said.