Lockheed Martin Returns To Base

The defense giant has lost its taste for commercial work

Two years ago, Lockheed Martin Corp. executives were primed for blast-off. Charting a bold new course for the company, they planned to leverage the defense giant's military knowhow to move into the commercial arena. With the prospect of fatter margins in high-tech commercial work, the Bethesda (Md.) company predicted that 40% of profits would come from the private sector by 2002. The company launched the effort fully aware of the industry's dismal track record outside defense. As ex-Lockheed Martin Chairman Norman R. Augustine noted in 1992: "The record of massive defense conversion is one unblemished by success."

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