Northrop's Biggest Foe May Have Been Its Past

Tom Jones unquestionably left a vivid mark on Northrop Corp., the company he headed for nearly 30 years. Too vivid, perhaps, for his successor, Kent Kresa. Jones, who ran Northrop with the macho swagger of a fighter ace, reveled in building the fastest and flashiest fighters and bombers that the U. S. Air Force could dream up. In his biggest coup before leaving under a hail of controversy in 1989, Jones piloted his defense contractor past much larger companies to win the Air Force's biggest prize up to that time: the $65 billion B-2 stealth-bomber program.

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