In our previous member spotlight, we had the pleasure of connecting with CEO, board member and business consultant, Alan Friedman. Alan opened up on his success stemming from a passion for business, technology and race cars.

This week we were thrilled to connect with Bob George, Director of Corporate Development at Exelis Corporation. Bob was able to provide us with insights on his extensive background in finance plus corporate development, and the direction that he and his firm are headed.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

I consider myself to be a “local” Washingtonian, since I was born and raised in Bethesda, Maryland. My background is extensive, with a main focus on finance and corporate development.

I began my journey into public accounting after graduating from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in accounting and finance; and then passing the CPA exam in 1988. I spent my first 10 years with Aronson & Company and ended up with Ernst & Young in their Aerospace & Defense assurance practice. I then worked for two different publicly traded IT outsourcing companies in which I held various positions from Chief Accounting Officer to Director of Corporate Development.

My transactional experience includes: Africa, Australia, Brazil, China (PRC and HK), Europe (continental and eastern), India, United Kingdom and the United States.

What was a key moment in your career that helped you get to where you’re today?

While there is no single moment that stands out, I have been lucky to work for some exceptionally smart and successful people, some were direct bosses and others were clients. In many instances, I was fortunate to see firsthand how these individuals made good decisions and handled difficult situations. Also, these individuals took a genuine interest in my career development by giving me additional responsibilities in areas beyond my day-to-day role.  

What is your current role and what does your firm focus on?

I joined Exelis in 2011 as a Director of Corporate Development, which reports to the Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer. I am responsible for executing all aspects of acquisitions and divestitures, including sourcing, due diligence, negotiating and executing of transactions, and guiding post-merger integration activities.

I consider Exelis to be a “new/old company,” as we recently spun off from ITT Corporation. So we are in a unique position of having the scale of a large organization plus the energy and passion of a startup since our spin-off.

In terms of our firm’s focus, Exelis is a leader in command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) related products and IT services.  We supply these product systems and services to military, as well as government and commercial customers in the U.S. and globally. We also have a growing position in composite aerostructures, logistics and technical services.

What are some of your goals (professional or personal)?

My short-term goal is to help execute our corporate strategy. This will be an opportunity for me and the Exelis team to create value in a challenging economic environment.

With ACG, I am focused on identifying opportunities to increase the value for corporate members, and to increase their participation in ACG events.

Can you describe your relationship with ACG National Capital? How has your membership factored in your career?

I have been involved with ACG for about 10 years.  During this time I have formed many enduring relationships, and have increased my technical and market expertise by attending the various educational programs and breakfast meetings. Also, the companies I have been affiliated with have benefited from belonging to ACG by the increased exposure to the National Capital Market and from access to the professional network of ACG.