Lockheed Martin cuts 4,000 jobs due to U.S. budget cuts

Government contractor Lockheed Martin is to cut jobs and facilities throughout the nation, after squeezing expenses to boost profits until now.
Posted By Sonali Basak  |  Nov. 14, 2013 at 3:58 PM
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Nov. 14 (UPI) -- As the government cuts its defense budget, major defense contractor Lockheed Martin is to cut 4,000 jobs and consolidate a number of facilities throughout the U.S.

Facilities in California, Ohio, Arizona and Pennsylvania are among those being closed by 2015 in response to government budget cuts brought on by sequestration.

The company makes aircraft and weapons systems, but it is also becoming a big player in the cyber security space with strategic alliances with companies including Cisco and Microsoft.

And Aeronautics, the company's biggest sector creating the F-35 jet and consquently 30 percent of Lockheed sales, is the only one of five departments not being impacted.

While the company reported that profits rose 16 percent in the most recent quarter for the year-ago period, sales declined 4.4 percent. The biggest defense contractors have mostly tightened expenses to boost profits. CEO Marillyn Hewson said she has spent a lot of time working with Washington to sort out the uncertainty of the business.

The company is based in Bethesda, Md. and is making employment cuts in Information Systems & Global Solutions, Mission Systems and Training, and Space Systems businesses.

The company has downsized since 2008 by 30,000 employees, down to 116,000 from 146,000, and has gotten rid of 1.5 million square feet of space.

Despite loss of sales to the government, Lockheed Martin reported in October sales 16 percent higher than the year-ago period.

[Forbes] [Bloomberg] [USA Today] [Washington Post]

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