President, Raytheon Asia
Retired U.S. Navy Adm. Walter Doran is president of Raytheon Asia for Raytheon International Inc., and is based in Singapore. Before joining Raytheon, he served in the U.S. Navy for more than 38 years, retiring in 2005 with the rank of admiral as commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Q. With declining defense budgets, what is Raytheon’s plan in Asia for 2012?
A. While this is a challenging environment, Raytheon has prepared for it over several years in part by increasing our emphasis on international markets. We’re on track to achieve in 2011 about 25 percent of total worldwide sales, and about 30 percent of total bookings, from international customers. Overall, our approach is to offer the broadest technology portfolio with a strong emphasis on missile defense, ISR, C3 and electronic warfare.
The Asian market has changed and become more competitive in recent years, and we are always seeking points of differentiation and collaboration, including business partnerships that can allow us to address opportunities.
Q. Among the countries you deal with directly on business issues, which impress you?
A. One can feel the pulse, confidence and the enthusiasm throughout Asia today: It is simply remarkable. Northeast Asia remains a very well-developed market for Raytheon with mature relationships. As a senior naval officer, I have watched the defensive capabilities of the Republic of Korea and Japan develop over the past 40 years. Raytheon has also had an enduring relationship with Taiwan. Southeast Asia is now developing into a very good market for Raytheon and we remain committed to India for a long-term partnership. I am living in Singapore and the achievements of the “Lion City” are recognized around the world.
Q. Since leaving the U.S. Navy and entering the private sector, what has surprised you and what advice would you give to those following your path from government into the Asian defense sector?
A. I suppose what I found most surprising was how much easier the transition from the military to Raytheon actually was, as compared to what I might have originally expected. The work ethic and talents that we develop within the military prepare us all well to apply ourselves to leadership positions in industry. My advice to those leaving the service today would be to remain patient and flexible, and reach back and rely upon on the depth of experiences that their time in the military has provided.
Q. As the former U.S. PAC Fleet commander, what are your thoughts on the Pentagon’s realignment efforts in Asia?
A. I have great faith and confidence in the leadership within the U.S. military and the Departments of State and Defense today, and I believe these recent moves reflect a realistic appraisal of today’s opportunities and challenges. Adm. [Robert F.] Willard has lived and worked in the Pacific as the Seventh Fleet commander, the Pacific Fleet commander and now the Pacific commander, and we are extremely fortunate to have his experienced leadership and wisdom at this time.
By Wendell Minnick in Taipei.