Top 100: What a difference a decade makes

When Washington Technology published its first Top 100 list of federal IT contractors in 1994, a Democrat was in office, defense budgets were shrinking and the Internet was just emerging as a business tool.

Many of the top names from that first list are very familiar. Electronic Data Systems Corp. stood at No. 2 and is now No. 9. Computer Sciences Corp. was No. 5 then and is No. 5 today. Unisys Corp. was No. 3 and now is No. 20.

Gone from the top, however, is AT&T Corp., which held the No. 1 spot in 1994 but is ranked No. 31 today. Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp., today's No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, didn't exist then. But pieces of those companies and others can be found scattered around that first Top 100.

Lockheed Corp. ranked No. 30 in 1994. Martin Marietta Corp. was No. 24. But Martin Marietta had recently purchased General Electric Corp.'s aerospace business, which was No. 13 that year. Lockheed and Martin Marietta then merged in early 1995.

Other pieces that later became part of Lockheed Martin included Loral Corp. at No. 25, which had just purchased IBM Federal (No. 4 in 1994). IBM Corp., however, is No. 18 on this year's, after stepping up its efforts in the federal market a few years ago.

Grumman Corp. was ranked No. 18 in 1994, but the other half of its namesake, Northrop Corp., did not make the list that year. The two companies merged later in 1994.

Plenty of other companies that eventually found their way into Northrop Grumman were on the list in 1994. The biggest is Northrop Grumman's most recent acquisition, TRW Inc., which was ranked No. 15 in 1994. In 1998, TRW bought BDM Inc., No. 29 on 1994's list. Northrop Grumman also has purchased Federal Data Corp., No. 35, Westinghouse Electric Co., No. 47, and Litton Industries, No. 28, which in turn had bought PRC Inc., No. 16.

Another current top 20 company, BAE Systems plc, No. 10, also did not exist in 1994, but its roots are still present, mainly through General Electric Company plc, No. 37, and Tracor Inc., No. 96. General Electric later bought Tracor. BAE was then created when General Electric's Marconi division and British Aerospace merged in 1999.

GTE Corp. held the No. 6 spot in 1994, but the bulk of that business can now be found in General Dynamics Corp., No. 7 today and No. 39 in 1994. Another part of GTE was sold to DynCorp, which was No. 99 in 1994, and was sold to CSC earlier this year.

Boeing is another top 20 member with a long legacy on the Top 100. In 1994, the company was ranked No. 10 and is now No. 4. Rockwell International Corp. was ranked above Boeing in 1994 at No. 8, but Boeing bought that company's defense business in 1996. Another legacy of Rockwell International, now known as Rockwell Collins, holds the No. 38 spot on this year's list.

Raytheon Co., No. 6 on today's list, was No. 22 in 1994. E-Systems, which Raytheon bought in 1995, was ranked No. 41.

Affiliated Computer Services Inc., No. 16 today, did not have a presence in the government market until it bought Computer Data Systems Inc. in 1997. CDSI held the No. 14 spot in 1994.

GTSI Corp. was known as Government Technology Systems Inc. in 1994 and was No. 44 that year. It later bought Falcon Microsystems, No. 80 in 1994, and today is ranked No. 17.

Other notable moves from 1994 to today: MCI, now the brand name for WorldCom Inc., was No. 71 in 1994 and is No. 8 today.

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. was No. 70 in 1994 and is No. 11 today. CACI International Inc. was No. 65 in 1994 and No. 19 today.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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