illiam R. Hoover,CEO Van B. Honeycutt,
President and COO
Computer Sciences Corp.
2100 East Grand Ave.
El Segundo, Calif. 90245
Thirty years ago, William Hoover joined Computer Sciences Corp. to manage the Los Angeles division of the company, then five years old and the largest software firm in the country. Hoover had attracted the attention of CSC's top brass during his 10-year stint at the Jet Propulsion Lab at Caltech. Back then, CSC's revenues topped $4 million, building its business almost exclusively selling systems software to most of the major hardware manufacturers.
But Hoover, 34 years old when he joined CSC, saw the need to develop new markets. And he saw that the biggest, most sophisticated customer was going to be the federal government. In March, Hoover will retire and turn over the CEO's office to Van B. Honeycutt, CSC's president and chief operating officer -- after overseeing the company grow to $2 billion in revenues annually, leading CSC through more than 20 acquisitions in the mid-80s, and watching it become one of the most fluid infotech businesses in the game. Hoover began working the charter 30 years ago that led CSC to those benchmarks: First, CSC is a technology company, and its commitment to leadership in the discipline binds all its business units. Second, entrepreneurial vision and innovation are encouraged while corporate bureaucracy is downplayed; third, business clients come first. That may sound like inspirational management talk, but it's difficult to argue with a company that's grown from 230 employees to more than 7,500, while staying independent and playing a market fraught by uncertainty, change and technology improvements unparalleled anywhere else.
Hoover will stay on as chairman of CSC's board of directors, a post he has held since 1972. Honeycutt, his successor, started out at CSC in 1975 as a regional marketing manager in the federal government sector of the company's Infonet division, which sold worldwide remote computing services. "Van Honeycutt is extremely well qualified to lead CSC into the next century," Hoover said in a statement.
Honeycutt, 31 years old when he joined CSC in 1975, led its credit services business from a $22 million reporting company to an industry leader in credit histories and collections with revenues of $105 million - CSC's biggest commercial moneymaker in 1987.