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The San Diego Union-Tribune

 
No. 2 executive at SAIC resigns after 13 years

STAFF WRITER

February 2, 2006

San Diego-based SAIC said yesterday that Duane P. Andrews, the company's second-highest ranking executive, is leaving after 13 years.

Andrews, 61, will remain as SAIC's chief operating officer until Feb. 24, when the defense contractor closes the books on its fiscal year that ended in January. He plans to retire April 15, the company said.

Andrews resigned from SAIC's board on Jan. 27, according to a filing with government regulators. He has served as a director since 1996.

Andrews served in the No. 2 position for barely a year. He was promoted to the job in January 2005 by Kenneth C. Dahlberg, SAIC's chairman and chief executive.

“We all owe him our appreciation for his efforts on SAIC's behalf, and I personally want to thank Duane for the help and support he gave me when I became SAIC's CEO,” Dahlberg said in the company's statement.

Dahlberg, a former General Dynamics executive, replaced SAIC founder J. Robert Beyster as chief executive in 2003. The company also known as Science Applications International Corp., ranks as the nation's largest employee-owned research and engineering conglomerate, with more than 43,000 employees.

In a memo e-mailed to employees yesterday, Dahlberg said he has initiated a search “for a Washington-based senior executive to take on the COO role.”

Dahlberg also assured workers that “we have a strong management team in place to achieve the company's goals, including our planned IPO.”

SAIC's initial public stock offering was expected to take place in the first three months of 2006. But the company postponed the IPO in December, citing unexpected costs and other troubles with a 2003 contract with the Greek government to install a command-and-control security system for the 2004 Olympic Games.

The Greek government has refused to make certain payments to SAIC for the system, citing numerous “omissions and deviations” with software developed for the system and other aspects of the network.

SAIC said in December that it has lost $115 million on the $305 million contract. The company also disclosed that it has launched an internal investigation of the Greek Olympics contract, including “ethical issues” raised by an unidentified employee.

Whether Andrews' departure was related to those troubles was unclear. A company spokesman could not be reached for comment late yesterday by telephone or by e-mail.

In a statement released by the company, Andrews said, “After 39 years of service in government and industry, I have decided the time is right for me to retire from SAIC and focus more on my family and other interests.”

After joining the company in 1993, Andrews gained increasing responsibility overseeing SAIC's federal business.

He had previously served four years as a top Pentagon official in the administration of President George H.W. Bush. From 1989 to 1993, when Vice President Dick Cheney was secretary of defense, Andrews served as the assistant secretary of defense for command, control, communications and intelligence.

Andrews moved into a similar role at SAIC, overseeing much of the company's work on secret projects with defense and national security agencies that involved sophisticated computer, communications and surveillance networks.

In his statement to SAIC employees, Andrews said, “I look back with considerable pride in the accomplishments of all those I have worked with to grow government revenue from $1.3 billion in fiscal year 1993 when I started to an estimated $7 billion as we end fiscal year 2006.”

SAIC came under harsh criticism in Congress last year for its work on Trilogy, a program that was intended to overhaul the FBI's outdated computer system. FBI Director Rober Mueller said custom software developed by the company for the system was unusable.

On Sunday, The Baltimore Sun outlined cost overruns and other problems involving Trailblazer, a classified $1.2 billion project for the National Security Agency. The program was intended to serve as a state-of-the art system for sifting through the flood of modern-day digital communications.

The newspaper reported that SAIC, the lead contractor on Trailblazer, did not provide enough people with the technical or management skills to produce the sophisticated system.


Bruce Bigelow: (619) 293-1314; bruce.bigelow@uniontrib.com

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