10 July 1999

Lockheed Merger Could Cost Jobs

Lockheed Martin Corp. on Thursday unveiled a merger of its missile operations in Orlando and Dallas, setting the stage for a consolidation that may cut scores of jobs at the two locations

The defense giant, based in Bethesda, Md., launched the merger to streamline operations and reduce costs so it could become more competitive and improve communications with its military customers, officials said. But the move raises the possibility that some missile programs and jobs may be moved from Orlando to Dallas, headquarters for the new parent subsidiary, Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control.

The Orlando missiles unit, formerly Lockheed Martin Electronics & Missiles Co., has been renamed Missiles & Fire Control-Orlando and will report to Dallas headquarters. Overall, the new subsidiary employs 8,000, including 3,700 in Orlando, with annual sales of $2.5 billion.

There have been rumors about a merger of the Orlando and Dallas units since late 1998 because their work is similar. Some analysts even suggested it might result in the closing of the Orlando unit on Sand Lake Road. But Lockheed officials said Thursday that wouldn't happen. Both Orlando and Dallas will remain open because "each offers unique, world-class capabilities vital for our successful execution of ongoing programs...and new business opportunities," said the corporate vice president of Lockheed's electronics sector.

Company officials said it is premature to say how many jobs may be cut or what action may be taken regarding plants and programs. "There's been a considerable effort to make sure we have protected the interests of both sites," said the newly appointed president of the Orlando unit.
Excerpts from Article published in the Orlando Sentinel Online on July 9, 1990

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