10 Things You Didn’t Know about Raytheon CEO Thomas Kennedy

Thomas Kennedy has been both the CEO and the Chairman of Raytheon since 2014. For those who are unfamiliar with the name, the Raytheon Company is a U.S.-based defense contractor that produces a wide range of products. In particular, it is famous for its status as the single most prolific producer of guided missiles that can be found in the entire world. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Thomas Kennedy:

1. Thomas Means Twin

Thomas is a name of Aramaic origin meaning “twin.” It has been a popular name since medieval times, not least because of St. Thomas the Apostle, who some people might better-recognize as “Doubting Thomas.” Amusingly, the meaning of the name has resulted in a number of theories about whose twin Thomas is supposed to be.

2. Kennedy Is the English Version of a Gaelic Name

Kennedy is the English version of a Gaelic name, which explains its connection with people with either Irish or Scottish heritage. However, it is unclear which Gaelic name it came from, not least because it might have come from more than one. For example, it is possible that it is the English version of a name meaning the grandson of someone named “helmet-headed.” However, it is possible that it is the English version of a name meaning the grandson of someone named “helmeted chief” as well.

3. Went to Rutgers University

For his bachelor’s degree, Kennedy went to Rutgers University, which is the single biggest institution of higher learning that can be found in the whole of New Jersey. He graduated from said school with a BS in Electrical Engineering, which was followed up by a MS from the Air Force Institute of Technology as well as a doctoral degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

4. Started Out in Radar Development

Kennedy started out as someone who was working on radar development for Raytheon. Over time, he became a member of the corporation’s senior leadership by rising through the ranks.

5. Served as COO and Executive Vice-President

For instance, Kennedy served as the COO as well as the executive vice-president of Raytheon before he rose to the position of its CEO. Since the COO tends to be the one in charge of overseeing a corporation’s operations, it is no exaggeration to say that the position tends to be situated just below the CEO on a corporate hierarchy, which makes sense because of the sheer breadth of its responsibilities.

6. Believes that Raytheon Is Insulated from Tariffs

Kennedy has stated in an interview that he believes that Raytheon is more insulated from Trump’s tariffs than a lot of the other U.S.-based corporations out there. For example, he has claimed that Raytheon won’t be impacted by steel and aluminum tariffs because it was already getting its supplies of those materials from U.S. sources.

7. Believes that Demand for Raytheon Products Won’t Be Impacted by Trade Wars

On a related note, Kennedy believes that foreign interest in Raytheon products won’t be impacted by Trump’s trade wars with U.S. allies because in his opinion, those countries want said products to protect their sovereignty. However, there are other experts who disagree, pointing out that the purchase of military products can’t be separated from politics, meaning that U.S. allies tend to be more interested in buying U.S. military products when relationships are good and vice versa.

8. Sees the Importance of the Cyber Component

Like a lot of corporations, Raytheon sees the importance of cyber-related businesses, which is why the corporation bought up a number of such companies. With that said, while Kennedy continued the initiative, it started up even before he had become the CEO.

9. Believes that Success Is Based on Growth

In an interview with Defense News, Kennedy has stated that he believes that success is based on a focus on growth, which makes sense because companies that stand still are doomed to fall further and further behind their counterparts. As a result, he has overseen efforts to increase Raytheon’s share of foreign markets.

10. Believes in a Balance Between Short-Term and Long-Term Investor Needs

Kennedy believes in a balance between short-term and long-term investor needs. For those who are curious, short-term investor needs refer to the desire from investors for more dividends as well as more stock buybacks, which mean more earnings for them. However, a corporation can’t increase its earnings in the long run without investing some of its earnings into its operations, which would be the long-term investor needs.


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