J. Robert Beyster

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In 1969, J. Robert Beyster "and a small group of scientists" founded Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) "as a scientific consulting firm with a handful of government contracts for nuclear power and nuclear weapons effects study programs." [1]

"The driving force behind SAIC, the man who shaped its personality and culture across nearly four decades, until he was forced out in 2004, was of course Bob Beyster," reported Donald Barlett and James Steele in the March 2007 issue of Vanity Fair. "Beyster advocated a form of internal entrepreneurship that led to cutthroat competition for contracts." According to former SAIC executive Bernice Stanfill King, "Beyster would often assign a single job to two executives. 'He would call in one high-level guy and put him on a project,' she explains. 'Then he would call another guy in a totally different part of the company and put him on the project. Then these guys would bump into each other and [wonder], "What's he doing?" You never honestly knew what was going on inside. Nothing was ever in the open.'" [2]

According to King, who won a lawsuit against SAIC for sex discrimination, "when passing Beyster in the hall she was not to speak to him or even to look at him. Women were made to address the boss as 'Dr. Beyster'; men called him 'Bob.' When a woman made a mistake, Beyster typically called her on it, using words like 'stupid' or 'incompetent.' When a man made a mistake -- well, it was just that, a mistake." [3]

Education and Career

Beyster has B.S.E., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Engineering and Physics from the University of Michigan. His pre-SAIC work experience includes being a senior scientist at Westinghouse, a physicist at Los Alamos National Scientific Laboratory, and chair of the Accelerator Physics Department at General Atomic. [4]

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