The Insider

Krone warns of 'hard work' associated with M&A

October 13, 2017 at 11:29 AM

More than a year after the merger of Leidos and Lockheed's IT services business, Roger Krone, chief executive of Leidos, warns that transactions of that scale can be successful, but are far from easy.

Speaking at a Northern Virginia Technology Council breakfast today, Krone praised Leidos' deal and pointed to a key decision to reorganize the company.

"We made a critical decision on day one to restack the company," he said. "We literally took all the programs and sorted by customer and created newly aligned businesses that were customer-focused."

Today, he said, Leidos is ahead of its integration plans and has achieved planned synergies earlier than expected.

"Change has served us well," Krone told the audience. "That being said, I won't stand here and tell you it's been a simple or painless process."

"Large [merger and acquisition] transactions may appear fun on the outside, but inside there's a lot of hard work by a lot of people," he continued.

He said he'd give anyone trying to execute a similar deal four pieces of advice. First, one should know his or her business well and stick to the strategy. The second key is to identify trusted people and dedicate a team to handle the deal, while the third element is to seek advice and counsel, given the transaction will likely hit uncharted territory.

Finally, Krone advised, stay focused on people.