SAIC's Andrews steps down

Duane Andrews is stepping down as executive vice president and chief operating executive officer of Science Applications International Corp., the company announced today.

The 13-year SAIC veteran will remain COO until Feb. 24, and retire on April 15. The company has not named a replacement, said Constance Custer, SAIC vice president of communications in McLean, Va. Chairman, chief executive officer and president Kenneth Dahlberg has started a search for a Washington-based senior executive to take the COO role.

The announcement comes as SAIC prepares to hold an initial public offering later this year on a yet to be determined date. Proceeds from IPO will be used to pay a special dividend to SAIC's stockholders, mostly comprising employees. The funds also will help fuel organic growth and acquisitions.

SAIC cancelled a special shareholders meeting on Dec. 16 to discuss the IPO. It will be held after SAIC files in April its annual audited financial statement for fiscal 2006 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The delay of the IPO also depends on how long it takes for an independent review of the company's performance on a contract it held for the Greek Olympics.

SAIC lost a $115 million on the contract, Dahlberg wrote in a letter to investors on Dec. 9. The contract could be a significant issue for new investors who are trying to understand SAIC prior to the IPO, Dahlberg said in a Dec. 16 letter to shareholders, in which he explained the decision to cancel the special shareholders' meeting. SAIC said it will provide additional details concerning the new timing of the IPO at a later time.

Andrews' departure also comes after a year in which SAIC has been criticized for problems with FBI and National Security Agency contracts. The FBI cancelled SAIC's contract to build the Virtual Case File system, after spending $170 million, because the agency said it wouldn't work. A recent Baltimore Sun article recently outlined problems, including cost overruns and a lack of deliverables, on the NSA's $1.2 billion Trailblazer project.

When asked if the company's problems with the Trailblazer and Virtual Case File prompted Andrews to leave the company, Custer said his reasons for retiring were stated in his letter included in SAIC's statement about his resignation.

In the letter, Andrews said he wanted to focus more on his family and other interests after working 39 years in government and industry. His retirement date in April will allow him to complete the company's fiscal year close out and ensure a strong start to the new fiscal year as the company prepares for the IPO, he said.

Custer also said that no further announcements of other key executives stepping down were in the works.

Andrews was promoted to COO in late January 2005 from his previous position of corporate executive vice president. Prior to that, he served as president and COO of the company's federal business. Andrews increased the company's revenue from $1.3 billion in fiscal 1993, when he began working for SAIC, to an estimated $7 billion for fiscal 2006, which ended Jan. 31.

Before joining the San Diego-based company, he was assistant secretary of defense for command, control, communications and intelligence. He also served on various national security advisory groups and commissions and was a staff member with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

SAIC is an employee-owned research and engineering company with more than 43,000 workers. The company ranks No. 3 on Washington Technology's 2005 Top 100 list of federal prime contractors.

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