Shea: Peraton focusing investments in offensive cyber, AI, machine learning, space arena

By Marjorie Censer / January 28, 2019

Peraton is focusing on areas of work "that are strategically important to us," including space command and control, offensive cyber, artificial intelligence and machine learning, the company's chief executive told Inside Defense.

In an interview at Peraton's Herndon, VA, headquarters earlier this month, Stu Shea said he views the contractor as about 70 percent on the way to the right organizational construct. Last year, the company reorganized from six business groups into four.

"What we have really found over the course of the last year or so is that there are some overlaps between those lines of business," Shea said. "I think there are some gaps in places that we weren't paying a lot of attention to."

"There are opportunities and needs in areas we don't have, so either through acquisition or growth internally or repositioning of our business internally, we've begun to look at: Do we have the right organizational construct," he added. "I think we're about 70 percent of the way there."

Shea said he's also spent the last year "focusing on operating as an enterprise."

"If I can get people to realize that there's one mission, one team, one fight, one success metric and they all participate equally in that, then that enjoins them in a way we didn't have historically," he said.

Shea said he sees opportunities in the space arena, including in space command and control, threat assessments and space protection and resiliency.

He said Peraton is choosing to focus on key areas where it can play a significant role.

"I could invest tons of money in hypersonics," he said. "I doubt I'm ever going to build a hypersonic airplane."

Instead, Peraton is zeroing in on areas like AI, machine learning, secure supply chain, internet of things and 5G wireless.

"I want to focus on things where I can make a differentiation that is long lasting, that will be recognized by a customer," he said.