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Pentagon's recent second-ranking civilian official joins Raytheon's board

  • Defense contractor Raytheon announced Robert O. Work, who until last month was the Pentagon's second-in-command civilian, was elected to its board of directors.
  • Work's selection to the Raytheon board continues what some describe as the "revolving door" between the Pentagon and industry.
  • Prior to being nominated as President Donald Trump's Defense secretary, James Mattis was on the board of General Dynamics, and Work's successor at the Pentagon is Patrick Shanahan, a former senior vice president at Boeing, another major defense firm.
Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O Work.
Daniel Mihailescu | AFP | Getty Images
Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O Work.

Raytheon on Monday said Robert O. Work, the former deputy secretary of Defense, was elected to its board of directors.

The announcement comes just a month after he left the second-ranking civilian post at the Pentagon, which made him essentially the day-to-day manager of the government's largest bureaucracy. The Department of Defense has more than 1.3 million service members on active duty and around 742,000 civilian personnel.

"Bob is well known in both the public and private sectors for his significant expertise in global security matters, most especially in the areas of defense strategy, advanced technologies, international studies and acquisition reform," Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas Kennedy said in a release. "In an era of rapid technological and geo-political change, Bob's vision and expertise will serve us well as we continue to shape our company for future success."

Work, 64, was appointed to the Department of Defense post in 2014 by President Barack Obama and left the job in July 2017. Work stayed on at the Pentagon several months into President Donald Trump's administration because of the lack of unfilled posts in the transition. A Marine, Work retired after 27 years of military service in 2001 with the rank of colonel.

Work's election to the Raytheon board continues what some describe as the "revolving door" between the Pentagon and industry. Raytheon declined comment beyond the press release.

Prior to being nominated as Trump's Defense secretary, James Mattis was on the board of General Dynamics, a large defense contractor. Similarly, Work's successor as the second in charge at the Pentagon is Patrick Shanahan, a former senior vice president of supply chain and operations for Boeing, another major defense firm.

Additionally, General Dynamics has a former deputy secretary of Defense, Rudy DeLeon, on its board. DeLeon, who served in the Pentagon post from 2000 to 2001, was named to the corporate board in 2014.