SAIC founder expresses disappointment over split decision
I’ve been keeping an eye on Robert Beysters’s blog for his views on the Science Applications International Corp.’s decision to split.
Although it has been eight years since Beyster retired as chairman of Science Applications International Corp., the company he founded in 1969, I still think of it as his company in many ways.
Nor does SAIC shy away from keeping a connection to Beyster, with his profile and a company history prominently displayed in the About section of the company web site. (It’s an example of honoring your roots that I think other companies should follow.)
Yesterday, he posted his thoughts, and he gives in them a quick, clear-eyed analysis of the pressure the company is under to improve the bottom line, but he doesn’t mince words that he disagrees with the decision.
“It’s a good thing I’m not in the company, because I would be strongly opposed to splitting SAIC in two,” he wrote.
His reasons are very much in keeping with the kind of company that he built over the course of 35 years. He likes the size and diversity of talent, which he called the company’s “great strength.” He feels that there has always been synergy among the various groups and sectors in SAIC.
“Splitting the company will reduce SAIC’s ability to draw from its deep bench of talent and experience. SAIC works very well as an integrated company,” he wrote.
He also acknowledges that the company isn’t the same one he ran. Since his retirement, SAIC has switched from the employee-ownership model, one that Beyster is still a champion of, to being a publicly traded company.
He also knows that the government market has changed significantly.
There is no crankiness or bitterness in what Beyster writes. “Lord knows what the split will do to the share price over the long term, whether it creates more value or less.”
Beyster is still an SAIC shareholder and says he’ll be watching closely. “I wish both of the new companies good luck.”
Posted by Nick Wakeman on Sep 05, 2012 at 7:23 PM