Lockheed Martin continues downsizing -- Gazette.Net


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Continuing its years-long trend of consolidating operations and trimming its workforce to cut expenses, Lockheed Martin is reorganizing its electronic systems division that now is based in Bethesda and slashing some 200 jobs, mostly in Orlando, Fla.

The Bethesda military and aerospace giant is splitting that division into a mission system and training sector based in Washington, D.C., and a missiles and fire control business in Dallas. Lockheed will fold a global training and logistics unit now in Orlando into those divisions. The changes are to take effect Dec. 31.

About one-third of the affected employees will be executives, with the job cuts mostly in the unit being consolidated in Orlando, said Jennifer Whitlow, a Lockheed spokeswoman, on Monday. The reorganization is expected to save about $50 million per year.

“This focus on maximizing value for customers and shareholders has already identified billions in savings for our customers and made us more competitive,” CEO Robert Stevens said in a statement.

Lockheed, like many military contractors, has been slashing its workforce in recent years as some federal budget growth is cut. The company now has about 120,000 employees, down some 26,000 from December 2008, according to recent annual reports and news releases. Revenues, however, have continued to grow, from $42.7 billion in 2008 to $46.5 billion last year.

A competitor, Science Applications International Corp. of McLean, Va., announced in August it is splitting into two public companies by the end of its next fiscal year. A spinoff company will focus on government and enterprise information technology.

Last year, another major military contractor, Northrop Grumman of Falls Church, Va., completed a spinoff of its shipbuilding unit, Huntington Ingalls Industries. Northrop had about 11,000 employees in Maryland in 2011, some 2,000 more than Lockheed, according to state figures. SAIC had about 6,500 employees in the state.

Marillyn Hewson, who leads Lockheed’s electronic systems division, will become president and COO of the company on Jan. 1. President Chris Kubasik then will become the CEO, as Stevens steps down.

Rick Edwards will become executive vice president of missiles and fire control, after leading the company's tactical missiles and combat maneuver systems for seven years. Dale Bennett will be executive vice president of mission systems and training; he now is president of the mission systems and sensors business.

Lockheed’s stock price did not change much on Monday, slipping just 0.4 percent to $94.01.

kshay@gazette.net