Loading up on ''subject matter experts" with a deep understanding of the military services, Raytheon Co. is hiring retired high-ranking Army, Navy, and Air Force officers for a new line of executive jobs.
Raytheon yesterday said it has named retired Navy Admiral Walter F. Doran, 60, who commanded the 180-ship US Pacific Fleet from 2002 through last August, to the position of Navy service executive.
The company, based in Waltham, also appointed an Air Force service executive this week: retired Major General Gary W. Heckman, 54, who had been the Air Force's assistant deputy chief of staff for plans and programs at the Pentagon. And last spring, Raytheon hired retired Army Lieutenant General Paul T. Mikolashek, 58, the service's inspector general and commanding general of the Third Army, as its Army service executive.
Company spokesman Jim Fetig said Raytheon only now is filling the new positions it created last year to better align the company with its chief customer: the Pentagon. ''The feeling was that we needed some high-level individuals with intimate knowledge of the customer community in the three services we support," Fetig said.
Raytheon's shares rose 8 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $39.41 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday.
All three of Raytheon's new service executives will report to Thomas M. Culligan, the company's executive vice president for corporate business development and chief executive of its Raytheon International business unit in Washington. Fetig said Raytheon sought individuals with potential for advancement in the new posts and views them as ''springboard positions" within the defense company.
Initially, the new service executives will work internally to educate Raytheon's managers and employees about the culture and needs of their former services. They also will seek to identify strategic growth opportunities for Raytheon in the military market.
Fetig said a Department of Defense regulation prohibits them from lobbying their former services for one year to prevent conflicts of interest.
It's not unusual for defense contractors to hire former military officers, but the practice has come under the spotlight over the past year since former Air Force weapons buyer Darleen Druyun pleaded guilty to giving Boeing Co. special treatment on a contract for 767 tankers at the same time she was negotiating with Boeing about a potential job.
Pratap Chatterjee, executive director of CorpWatch, an Oakland, Calif., watchdog group that monitors corporate fraud and corruption, said the new Raytheon jobs have the potential for abuse.
''Companies have always done this, but I'm surprised about how blatant this one is," Chatterjee said. ''It's a classic revolving door, and they're not being shy about it. Once you rise up the ranks in the military, there's a lucrative career waiting for you at the end of your service."
Fetig, however, said all three of Raytheon's appointments had operational duties in their services and none had responsibility for procurement. ''They are required to follow all the rules and regulations pertaining to former members of the military, without exception," he said.
Lockheed Martin Corp., the nation's largest defense contractor, has no jobs analogous to the new Raytheon service executives, Thomas Greer, a spokesman at Lockheed Martin headquarters in Bethesda, Md., said yesterday.
''We have employees who have served and who have insight into customer requirements," he said, ''but I can't say we've established something like that."
Robert Weisman can be reached at email@example.com.
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