Bill Varner retired as president of ManTech’s Mission, Cyber & Intelligence Solutions Group on Dec. 31, 2017, following a 41-year career.
As he moves to California, he continues to support the intelligence and defense communities in a consultant capacity.
“It’s hard to think of myself as retired as it seems like just yesterday that I started working,” Varner said. “I would never have believed that all of these years could go by so quickly. I’ve always believed that the journey is just as important as the destination, and I have enjoyed the journey greatly.”
Rick Wagner has been named president of ManTech’s MCIS group in his place. Varner has also been named to the board of directors for Novetta, a McLean-based developer of analytics technology.
Varner holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from George Washington University, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business.
Varner began his career at ESL, Inc. before going on to spend 31 years at Northrop Grumman — TASC with his last five there as vice president of intelligence operations. He joined ManTech in September 2009.
In 2014 and 2017, he was inducted into Executive Mosaic’s Wash100 for his leadership in cyber and enterprise IT services.
Varner said he has always felt leadership is personal.
“In order for me to lead people effectively, I need to know more about them than just what they are doing at work,” he said. “It’s important to know what drives people, what motivates them to come to work every day, what their goals are. A well-balanced life certainly includes work, but it is much more than just our jobs. People need to know the same about their leader. I have always tried to get to know every member of my team, and let them get to know me.”
Varner has developed relationships with those in the intelligence and defense communities throughout his career. WashingtonExec recently asked some of those individuals to speak about Varner and their relationships with him:
“Bill Varner is a leadership example for everyone. All who interacted with Bill through his illustrious career know him as a warm, kind and genuine businessman and gentleman. He leaves us a legacy we can all strive to emulate as we move through our professional and personal lives. His word is his honor, and to work with him has been my honor.” – Vice President of National Security, Public Sector and Wholesale Solutions Jill Singer, AT&T
“For me, Bill has been that persistent, pervasive, influential member of the community that is always there, always contributing. He’s wise, he’s committed, he’s an incredible competimate, and a man of his word. He is not the loudest voice in a group, but always one of the most influential.” – Lynn Dugle, CEO, Engility
“I first met Bill in 1976. He was and always has been a creative engineer, and as his career progressed, he became a very talented manager and executive. His talent was manifested most recently in his tenure at ManTech where he managed the growth of a major sector of ManTech.” – Arthur Money, former assistant secretary of defense.
“I had the opportunity to work with Bill supporting government customers. Bill always cared most about the mission and conducted business with the highest amount of integrity. I could always count on Bill doing the right thing for the mission.” – Michael Kushin, CEO, Blackhorse
“The best advice I ever received was from Bill Varner. He told me that success to him was when he woke up every morning and could not wait to see his colleagues at work and learn about their day! That’s when you know you are in the right place! I have followed Bill’s guidance on team-building with great results!” – Ellen McCarthy, president, Noblis-NSP