L-3 Communications loses visionary leader

CEO Frank Lanza dies

Frank Lanza, chairman and CEO of L-3 Communications Inc., died last night, the New York-based company announced in a statement today.

Lanza, who had visited with his doctors earlier in the day, was recovering from an unspecified surgery that he had two months ago when he died suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday evening.

"We are all shocked and saddened by the passing of Frank," said Robert Millard, lead director of the L-3 Communications board of directors.

"There is no question that Frank Lanza has been one of the most visionary business leaders in the defense industry," Millard said.

Before founding and running L-3 Communications, Lanza was president and chief operating officer of Loral Corp. In April 1996, Loral was acquired by Lockheed Martin Corp., Bethesda, Md., and Lanza took the position of executive vice president of Lockheed Martin and was appointed to the company's executive council and board of directors.

L-3 ranks No. 7 on Washington Technology's 2006 Top 100 list of top federal prime contractors.

Lanza also was president and COO of Lockheed Martin's command, control, communications and intelligence and systems integration sectors, which comprised many of the business units Lockheed acquired from Loral.

Lanza began his career as an engineer with the Philco Western Development Laboratory. He then joined the Dalmo Victor Division of Textron Inc., Providence, R.I., in 1959, where he rose to become vice president in 1970. Lanza then joined Loral in 1972.

Lanza was a member of the board of governors for the Aerospace Industries Association. He also was a member of the board of directors of the Coast Guard Foundation and received the 2003 Distinguished Corporate Leadership award from the Soldiers', Sailors', Marines' and Airmen's Club. Lanza served in the U.S. Coast Guard during the Korean War.

Lanza was selected as the 1978 Gold Knight of Management by the National Management Association. Lanza also was on the board of the American Italian Cancer Foundation.

The L-3 Communications board is expected meet today.

"Frank was blessed by a wonderfully supportive family and he will be greatly missed by all those who appreciated his insight, his leadership, his candor and his credibility. The defense industry has lost a great advocate for innovation, excellence and personal integrity," Millard said.

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