Federal Contractors/Technology: TOM BELL
CHAIRMAN AND CEO, ROLLS-ROYCE NORTH AMERICA INC.; PRESIDENT, DEFENCE, ROLLS-ROYCE HOLDINGS PLC, RESTON
Though its name conjures luxury, Rolls-Royce is also a major force in powering the U.S. military. In September 2021, Rolls Royce North America won a $500 million Air Force contract to manufacture 650 replacement engines for the service’s fleet of B-52 Stratofortresses, extending the life of the iconic bomber by three decades. The award could potentially reach $2.6 billion.
To build the B-52 engines, the company has invested $1 billion in its Indianapolis manufacturing and testing facilities; it has also contributed millions of dollars for research partnerships with Purdue University. In late 2021, the company completed work on an $11 million Massachusetts-based naval manufacturing, repair and test facility.
Bell has led Rolls-Royce North America since 2018; he also oversees its global defense contracting division, which has more than 9,500 employees worldwide. The company, which has pledged to achieve carbon-zero status by 2030, instituted hybrid work early this year, with Bell telling The Washington Post that work needs to be viewed not as a place, but an activity.
Bell earned his bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University and an MBA from Florida Institute of Technology. He serves on the Aerospace Industries Association’s executive committee.