Lockheed appoints Coffman president Executive is on track to be successor to CEO Augustine

July 02, 1996|By Suzanne Wooton | Suzanne Wooton,SUN STAFF

Lockheed Martin Corp. yesterday named Vance D. Coffman as president and chief operating officer, formally establishing him as the likely successor to Norman R. Augustine, chief executive officer of the nation's largest defense and aerospace company.

"The board's action is the next logical step in the corporation's deliberate long-term management succession plan," Lockheed Martin Chairman Daniel M. Tellep said yesterday in a statement released after the Bethesda-based company's board of directors elevated Coffman, its chief operating officer, to president as well.

The long-term strategy was determined after the merger of Lockheed Corp., which Tellep headed, and Martin Marietta Corp., led by Augustine. Augustine, 60, was president and CEO until Coffman's promotion.

Although he retired as CEO of Lockheed Martin last year -- Augustine assumed that post -- Tellep remains chairman of the board.

Tellep said yesterday that Coffman's promotion, effective immediately, puts the company "on a path to accelerate our corporate-wide consolidation of Lockheed Martin with the heritage of Loral businesses."

In April, Lockheed Martin completed its $9.1 billion purchase of the bulk of Loral Corp., the nation's fifth-largest defense contractor. Lockheed Martin employs 190,000 workers, and has $30 billion in annual sales.

The surprise move to buy Loral came less than a year after the merger that formed Lockheed Martin. The former head of Loral, Frank C. Lanza, will remain as executive vice president of Lockheed, focusing on transition activity for the two companies, the company said.

Coffman, 52, received his doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics engineering from Stanford University and joined Lockheed Corp. in 1967. After the merger with Martin Marietta 1 1/2 years ago, Coffman became president of the Space & Strategic Missiles Sector. Early this year, he was named executive vice president of Lockheed Martin, a position he also held at Lockheed Corp.

Each of Lockheed Martin's six operating sections will report to both Augustine and Coffman.

Pub Date: 7/02/96

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