Leonardo Reboot Paves Path to the Future

 - July 19, 2022, 1:03 PM
A Leonardo AW139 at the Farnborough International Airshow 2022. (Photo: David McIntosh)

Two years into its “Be Tomorrow 2030” strategic plan, Italian aerospace and defense multinational Leonardo is “on the right path,” CEO Allesandro Profumo said at the Farnborough International Airshow this week, detailing the initiative’s goals and results thus far.

Based on three pillars—strengthening the company’s core, transforming it for growth, and mastering the "new"—the strategic plan has righted the company, Profumo said, with orders, revenues, EBITA, and free cash flow in line with or exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, the company is increasing sales in strategic areas, with helicopters a primary focus. For fiscal year 2022, Leonardo forecasts new orders for about 15 helicopters and an EBITA of €1.18 to €1.22 billion on revenues of €14.5 to €15 billion.

In the defense arena, Profumo noted the company’s strong roles in international cooperation programs: the Eurofighter; Joint Strike Fighter; NH90 helicopter, designed to NATO standards; and FREMM, the European multipurpose frigate. It plans major participation in coming programs, including the Future Combat Air System; Eurodrone; and the next generation fast rotorcraft.

Sustainability and environmental, social, and corporate governance represent primary components of Leonardo’s blueprint for the future, and Profumo noted they are among the thief technology innovation officer’s key responsibilities.

Profumo said Leonardo will increase the development of strategic technologies including artificial intelligence; big data; electrification; autonomous systems and robotics; and quantum technologies. He stressed the importance of attracting the best talent in these competencies to maintain Leonardo's competitive edge.

While most of the company’s more than 50,000 employees work in Italy (63 percent), Leonardo has a sizeable international footprint, including  “a significant presence here in UK,” representing 15 percent of its workforce, he said. “When I joined the company, being a former banker, I was saying, this is highly inefficient,” Profumo said, citing the company’s 106 sites worldwide. “Now I'm convinced of the contrary. The reason to have this spread-out organization is because we are really capable of attracting the best people from different communities.”