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KEYW adds former Leidos executive to board

Monday, February 22, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Megan Mann
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KEYW Holding Corp. has expanded its board of directors with a ninth member, adding the finance executive who helped split Leidos Holdings Inc. and SAIC into two companies.

Hanover-based intelligence contractor KEYW (NASDAQ: KEYW) added Mark W. Sopp to its board, it said Monday morning. Sopp retired from the CFO role at Leidos in 2015, shortly after he led the financial side of the multibillion-dollar government contractor's split from SAIC. He previously led contractor SAIC's $1 billion public offering in 2006.

The expansion to KEYW's board comes as the company's stock price has continued to decline under new CEO William J. Weber. Weber pledged in October to boost the company's stock price. But it has fallen from $7.10 per share on Oct. 9 to trade at $4.31 per share late Monday morning.

Adding Sopp and his corporate split experience also comes after Weber said he would consider selling Hexis Cyber Solutions Inc., a KEYW subsidiary founded in 2013 to focus on commercial business. But Sopp's spot on the board of directors is about his experience running public companies, said Chris Donaghey, KEYW's vice president of corporate development and communications.

"One of our board members has known Mark for a long time," Donaghey said. "When he left Leidos, we saw that as an opportunity to add some experience."

Donaghey declined to say which board member has known Sopp. A statement from Weber focused on Sopp's potential to help organic growth.

"As we looked to expand KEYW's board of directors, we sought a candidate who had large, publicly traded audit and finance experience in the government and intelligence solutions arena," Weber said. "Mr. Sopp's experience driving organic growth, effectively deploying capital and meeting compliance requirements are well aligned with our priorities."

Sopp joins KEYW's board March 16. He will also be on its audit and compensation committees.

KEYW founder Leonard Moodispaw died in July at the age of 72, shortly after retiring from the company.

This article originally appeared in the Baltimore Business Journal

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