Business

January 13, 2014

Former Northrop CEO Thomas Jones dies at 93

Thomas V. Jones, who was Northrop’s chief executive officer for 30 years and took it to the top ranks of aerospace companies during the Cold War while weathering a series of scandals, has died. He was 93.

Northrop – now known as Northrop Grumman – announced that Jones died Jan. 7. He died of pulmonary fibrosis at his 16-acre wine-making estate in Los Angeles, his son Peter Jones told the Los Angeles Times.

Thomas Jones was a visionary and pioneer in U.S. aviation, said Wes Bush, Northrop Grumman’s CEO, chairman and president. ìTom Jones paved the way for Northrop Grumman and many in our industry.î
Jones, who was born in Pomona, Calif., was an engineer with Douglas Aircraft Co. during World War II.

He later worked for the Brazilian government, setting up the country’s civil aviation system, according to Northrop Grumman.

He joined Northrop in 1953, when it was headquartered in Southern California, and was CEO from 1960 until his retirement in 1990. He was named chairman in 1963.

Making large investments in programs, he took the company from a secondary aerospace subcontractor to a leading manufacturer of military aircraft, including the F-5 and F-18 fighter jets and the B-2 stealth bomber, Virginia-based Northrop Grumman said.

ìJones positioned Northrop to be a leader in high-technology areas including intelligence, cyber security and unmanned aerial vehicles,î the company said.

Jones pushed the relatively low-cost T-38 trainer jet, and Northrop eventually sold nearly 4,000 of them around the world.

His investments in technology helped Northrop win the B-2 contract.

He built a lot of expensive research facilities on Northrop money, said John Cashen, one of the three Northrop engineers who hold the B-2 patent, told the Times. ìWe couldn’t have built the B-2 without it. He was willing to gamble. It didn’t faze Tom a bit. When you posed the question, will you play, he said sure.

His failures and controversies were equally spectacular.

The company invested more than $1 billion to develop the F-20 jet fighter but eventually canceled the program without selling a single plane after the U.S. blocked sales to Taiwan and two F-20s crashed during training and demonstration flights. In 1989, Northrop’s board of directors censured Jones after a scandal involving efforts to sell F-20s to South Korea.

In 1964, he pleaded guilty to making illegal contributions to President Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign. In 1975, amid allegations that Northrop had paid $30 million in bribes to foreign officials for arms deals, Jones was suspended as chairman. He also signed a consent agreement with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission promising not to make bribes.

A few years before his retirement, Northrop acknowledged that some employees had falsified tests on components for nuclear missiles.

During his career, Jones was a friend of President Ronald Reagan and hob-nobbed with European royalty and foreign potentates, including the Shah of Iran, who sent Jones a kilogram of caviar every year, his son told the Times.

Jones, who loved sailing, cigars and fine wine, remained active during retirement by producing high-end wines from his Moraga Vineyards at his home in the Bel-Air area of Los Angeles.
Jones sold the estate in August to Rupert Murdoch for $28.8 million but remained in the home, the Times said.

In addition to his son, Jones is survived by a daughter, Ruth Jones; a brother, George Jones; a sister, Margaret Whyte, and two grandchildren. AP




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 28, 2014

News: U.S. has lost track of weapons given to Afghanistan - The United States supplied almost three quarter of a million weapons to Afghanistan’s army and police since 2004, but the military cannot track where many of those arms have gone, a new report found. Bill to improve VA has $17 billion price tag - A bipartisan...
 
 

News Briefs July 28, 2014

Marines seek authorization for dolphin deaths The Marine Corps is asking for a five-year authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service for incidental deaths of bottlenose dolphins during training exercises at a bombing and target range. The Sun Journal of New Bern, N.C., reports that Connie Barclay of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says...
 
 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 

 

Northrop Grumman awarded mission support services contract

The U.S. Army awarded Northrop Grumman a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, with a potential value of $205 million, to continue providing mission logistics services in support of combat brigades training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The contract covers one base year and two one-year options. Support will include the full range of mission...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>