Hughes Aircraft is determined to wean itself away from Pentagon contracts. As part of that effort, on Feb. 19 the General Motors subsidiary named C. Michael Armstrong as its new chairman, effective at the end of March. Armstrong, currently chairmanof IBM World Trade, hadbeen considered a possible successor to IBM CEO John Akers.

Hughes's goal is to increase commercial work to 50% of sales by the end of the decade, compared with 30% of its $8 billion in 1991 sales. Already a leading maker of commercial satellites, Hughes also plans to put its own line of cellular phones in GM cars.

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