Hundreds of Lockheed Martin execs take buyout offer

A quarter of the top officials at the government's biggest contractor will leave the company.

Officials at Lockheed Martin, the government's top contractor in terms of revenue from federal agencies, announced Wednesday that 600 of its executives -- a quarter of the total -- had accepted voluntary buyouts to leave the company.

The reductions "will enable us to achieve significant cost savings and a leaner management structure at a time when our customers have an urgent need for more affordable solutions to the global security challenges they face," said Lockheed Martin Chairman and CEO Bob Stevens.

Lockheed had announced plans earlier this summer to reduce its number of leaders at the director and vice president levels. The financial incentives were aimed at getting many top executives to leave the company by Feb. 1, 2011.

Since the beginning of 2009, Lockheed has shed a total of about 10,000 jobs. It now has about 136,000 employees.

The contractor also has begun a major reorganization, started the process of divesting itself of two units and significantly reduced its participation in international trade shows.

In Government Executive's annual ranking of the Top 200 Federal Contractors, Lockheed Martin was by far the biggest, with more than $41 billion in contract awards.