USA: HII President and CEO Speaks as Part of University of Virginia’s Leadership Series
Huntington Ingalls Industries President and CEO Mike Petters spoke at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business on March 6. Petters’ address was part of the school’s Leadership Speakers Series, which features the world’s thought leaders and gives MBA students, faculty and staff the opportunity to hear and discuss leaders’ stories and advice.
Petters shared with students his views on leadership, talent development and the importance of having great people. When asked what he has learned in his career as a leader, Petters said success is not the result of products or processes, but the efforts of people.
“The most important thing done in business is done through your people,” Petters said.
The event, which was led by two MBA students who asked Petters questions on behalf of the group of 60 in attendance, was co-hosted by the Darden Military Association, a group that assists members in leveraging former and current military experiences to enhance career opportunities within the private sector and builds esprit de corps and camaraderie within the Darden community. When asked for advice for students working on their MBAs, Petters told the group, “Besides being an expert in your field, you also need to understand the language of business.”
Petters earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982 and went on to serve as an officer on the submarine USS George Bancroft (SSBN 643) and in the U.S. Naval Reserve. In 1993, he earned an MBA from the College of William and Mary. He joined Newport News Shipbuilding in 1987 and held a number of increasingly responsible positions throughout the organization, including vice president of aircraft carrier programs, vice president of contracts and pricing, vice president of human resources, and president of Northrop Grumman Newport News and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. He assumed the role of president and CEO for HII on March 31, 2011.
Petters was appointed by former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine to serve on the Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates. He serves on the board of directors for the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation and is a member of the board of directors and the board of trustees of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. He also serves on the distinguished advisory board for the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation and on the advisory council for the Naval Historical Foundation.
Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe. For more than a century, HII has built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. Employing nearly 38,000 in Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and California, its primary business divisions are Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding.
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, March 11, 2012; Image: huntingtoningalls