LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Thomas Jones, who led Northrop Corp. to the top rank of aerospace companies during the Cold War while weathering serious scandal, has died. He was 93.
His son, Peter, tells the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/1bW2KRt ) that Jones died Tuesday of pulmonary fibrosis at his Los Angeles estate.
Jones was Northrop’s chief executive for 30 years, beginning in 1960.
He gambled on huge projects. His technology investments helped Northrop win the B-2 stealth bomber contract. But the $1 billion F-20 jet fighter program was cancelled without a sale after several crashes.
During his tenure, Jones pleaded guilty to making illegal campaign contributions to Richard Nixon and the company was hit with allegations that it paid $30 million in bribes to foreign officials. Northrop also acknowledged falsifying tests on nuclear missile components.