Engler leaves EDS for trade group

John Engler, president of EDS Corp.'s state and local business, is leaving the company later this year for the top post at the nation's largest industrial trade association.

Engler has accepted the position of president and chief executive officer of the Washington-based National Association of Manufacturers following his nomination by its executive committee, the group announced today. At the time of the announcement, Engler was on vacation overseas and could not be reached for comment.

Plano, Texas-based EDS has not announced who will succeed Engler in overseeing the company's sizable state and local business.

If Engler's nomination is ratified by the association's board of directors at its next meeting in September, he would take the post Oct. 1. Engler plans to stay on board at EDS for an unspecified period of time to assist whomever succeeds him.

"There will be a transition period," said Bill Ritz, an EDS spokesman.

Former EDS President and CEO Dick Brown personally recruited Engler in January 2003 to head the company's state and local business. He was given control not only of the state and local business, but also of federal programs that required federal and state coordination, such as homeland security and Medicaid and Medicare.

Two months later, the company fired Brown and replaced him with president and CEO Michael Jordan. Engler leaves EDS with Jordan's blessings.

"The leadership of NAM has chosen wisely," Jordan said in the association's announcement. "John Engler will assume the leadership of the nation's largest industrial trade association with my support and the support of more than 120,000 EDS employees. A vibrant manufacturing sector is good for America and good for EDS. I congratulate John and wish him the best."

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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