Federal Bytes

I'm CEO, and you're not

William Owens, a retired admiral and former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is a man of his word. When he joined Science Applications International Corp. in March 1996, he said his goal was to rise to the level of chief executive officer within two years. He didn't make it— so he's quitting.

Owens, SAIC's president and chief operating officer, said he will resign from the company June 1. SAIC's founder and CEO, J. Robert Beyster, issued a statement late last month that essentially said the company ain't big enough for two CEOs. Beyster's statement indicated that he plans to stick around for another two years, and he bid goodbye to Owens.

Fearless?

A Federal Aviation Administration official recently said he is so confident that the agency's Year 2000 problem will be fixed in time that he plans to hop on a plane New Year's Eve 1999. And yes, he will get a return ticket.

Maybe this official is banking on the hope that no one else will fly, which will reduce the possibility of aircraft collisions.

He admitted he had not booked his flight because airlines are not yet accepting reservations this far in advance.

Fashionably retro

Like a scene from a Buck Rogers serial, members of Congress donned 3-D glasses to view a 3-D map brought by Bryan Logan, past president of the Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors, to a recent House hearing to show that the private sector can handle imagery and mapping functions as well as or better than the federal government.

Maybe. But let's see Bill Gates look as stylish as Rep. Stephen Horn (R-Calif.) in a pair of 3-D glasses.

Hammered Award

It always helps the spirits of diners at the National Institutes of Health Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association breakfasts to have the speakers lob a bit of levity to the crowd.

David Keyes, the chairman of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Task Force and an FBI agent for 26 years before retiring this month, was describing the recent widespread power outages in New Zealand as an example of how business and municipal operations can be affected by infrastructure problems.

But there were some heartening examples of residents pulling together in a crisis. For example, some true public service-oriented citizens "rushed to the local pubs to make sure the beer didn't get warm," he said.

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