William H. Swanson
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A native of California, Swanson graduated magna cum laude from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering. He attended Cal Poly with the assistance of a golf scholarship. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate from Pepperdine University and served on the Board of Regents of Pepperdine. He was selected as the Outstanding Industrial Engineering Graduate in 1972, and in 1991 was recognized as an Honored Alumnus by California Polytechnic State University College of Engineering. He attended a graduate degree program in business administration at Golden Gate University.
Career at Raytheon
Swanson joined Raytheon in 1972 and held a wide range of leadership positions, including manufacturing manager of the company’s Equipment Division, general manager of the Missile Systems Division's Andover Plant, senior vice president and general manager of the Missile Systems Division, general manager of Raytheon Electronic Systems, and president, chairman and chief executive officer of Raytheon Systems Company.
Before becoming chairman of Raytheon in January 2004, Swanson was CEO and president of the company. Prior to that he was president of the company, responsible for Raytheon’s government and defense operations, including the four Strategic Business Areas of Missile Defense; Precision Engagement; Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR); and Homeland Security. Before that, he was a Raytheon executive vice president and president of Electronic Systems.
As a protégé of Chairman and CEO Dennis Picard and a long-time Raytheon insider, he was the expected candidate to succeed the retiring chairman in the late 90's. However, Daniel Burnham, an outsider, was elected to succeed Dennis Picard as Chairman and CEO. After Burnham completed a five-year contract with Raytheon, Swanson was elevated to his position.
Swanson stepped down from the CEO position in March 2014 and retired from Raytheon entirely in September 2014. He was succeeded by Dr. Thomas A. Kennedy, who had previously served as Raytheon's Chief Operating Officer.
Honors and associations
- Member of the board of directors of Sprint Nextel Corporation.
- Member of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation board of directors, the California Polytechnic State University President’s Cabinet, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway board.
- Appointed to the Pepperdine University board of regents and awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree and the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship.
- Member of the Secretary of the Air Force advisory board.
- Trustee of the Association of the United States Army.
- Member of the National Defense Industrial Association.
- Member of the Navy League.
- Member of the Air Force Association.
- Member of the Board of Governors of the Aerospace Industries Association.
- Member of the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation board of advisors.
- Associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
- Member of the US president’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.
- Vice chairman of the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF).
- Co-chair of BHEF's Securing America's Leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Initiative.
- Honorary chair of MATHCOUNTS for 2009 through 2011.
- Honorary chair of 2011 Engineers Week.
Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management and plagiarism
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Swanson released a short work called Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management, thirty three sound-bite rules, including the comparatively well known "Waiter Rule".
On April 24, 2006, in a statement released by Raytheon, Swanson admitted to plagiarism in claiming authorship for his booklet, "Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management," after being exposed by an article in The New York Times. On May 2, 2006, Raytheon withdrew distribution of the book. On May 3, 2006, Raytheon punished Swanson by reducing his compensation by approximately $1 million for publishing what was "later found to have been taken from a 1944 engineering classic, The Unwritten Laws of Engineering, by W. J. King." Further investigation by the Boston Herald revealed that Swanson had also copied some of the rules from former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and columnist Dave Barry.
- Reference for Business William H. Swanson 1949— Biography
- List of Directors
- Board of Directors Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation
- "California State University and Cal Poly Award Raytheon Co. CEO Honorary Doctorate" (Press release). California Polytechnic State University. May 27, 2005. Retrieved 2006-05-15.
- Board members chosen for Greenway Conservancy, a press release from the Boston Redevelopment Authority
- appointment to board of regents at Pepperdine
- "Raytheon's biography of William H. Swanson" (PDF).
- Engineers Week 2011 is February 20-26, announcement from the National Engineers Week Foundation
- "Raytheon Chairman & CEO Comments Regarding 'Unwritten Rules'". Raytheon News Release. Retrieved 2006-05-02.
- "Raytheon halts distribution of controversial booklet by CEO". AP/Boston.com. 2006-05-02. Archived from the original on March 4, 2007. Retrieved 2006-05-02.
- Leslie Wayne (2006-05-03). "Raytheon Punishes Chief Executive for Lifting Text". New York Times. Retrieved 2006-05-03.
- CBS News https://web.archive.org/web/20060525032302/http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/05/11/national/main1611434.shtml. Archived from the original on May 25, 2006. Missing or empty
- Robert Weisman (2006-05-04). "CEO gets $1m slap for misuse of maxims". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2006-05-10. (Subscription for full article)