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 November 21, 2014

News: Dempsey lays groundwork for larger 2016 defense budget - The top U.S. military official on Wednesday made the case for growing the base defense budget significantly over the $535 billion spending cap imposed by Congress for fiscal 2015.   Business: Boeing can bill $61 million that Pentagon withheld for months - The Pentagon withheld $60.5 million...
 
 

News Briefs November 21, 2014

Obama aide: U.S. should look at Ukraine military aid A senior aide of President Barack Obama says he believes the U.S. should consider giving Ukraine lethal, defensive military assistance to get Russia to think twice about its destabilizing behavior. Tony Blinken, the deputy national security adviser, cites serious violations by Russia of agreements not to...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox

Kunsan AB hosts Exercise Max Thunder 14-2

Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox A South Korean air force F-15 Strike Eagle lands Nov. 17, 2014, during Max Thunder 14-2 at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy personnel and aircraft...
 

 
LM-facility

Lockheed Martin opens Surface Navy Innovation Center

Lockheed Martin has opened the Surface Navy Innovation Center in Moorestown, N.J., to support the development of new technologies for the U.S. Navy. The SNIC is a research, development and demonstration facility that brings tog...
 
 
raytheon-test

Raytheon successfully demonstrates integrated electronic warfare capabilities

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Raytheon, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy, successfully demonstrated an end to end, first of its kind, integrated electronic attack system during flight tests at the Naval Air Weapons Station Chi...
 
 

Three bases identified as F-16 aggressor candidate bases

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Jr. A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron lands at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6 during RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1. RF-A is a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation...
 




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>