How Thales Group is chasing growth with new xPlor initiative

Pete-RoneyPete Roney says that the rationale for launching a new innovation effort at Thales USA, the American arm of the French aerospace and defense giant Thales Group, was pretty clear.

Roney joined Thales USA via a 2012 acquisition, and quickly learned that Thales Group’s then-CEO felt that “we weren’t growing top-line compared to our peer group, and [Thales] wasn’t thinking creatively or entrepreneurially enough.” So CEO Jean-Bernard Levy “set in motion a plan to think differently,” Roney says, which included changes to internal R&D, “as well as the way we work with the startup ecosystem.”

The company decided that the U.S. was the right place to plant such an initiative, and put Roney in charge; he’s now Vice President of Innovation and Managing Director of the new initiative, dubbed xPlor.

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