Thomas A. Kennedy on the passing of former Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas L. Phillips
Former Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas L. Phillips passed away on January 9, 2019. He was 94 years old. The following is a statement from current Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas A. Kennedy:
I was greatly saddened to hear about the passing of Tom Phillips and on behalf of all Raytheon employees, past and present, extend our deepest condolences to his family and many friends. It was under Tom’s vision and leadership that Raytheon grew into a global defense technology leader – a legacy we continue to build upon to this day.
Tom was a link to Raytheon’s past and future. He started with the company as an engineer working under legendary Raytheon leaders such as Vannevar Bush, Charles Francis Adams and Percy Spencer. He was named president in 1964, became Raytheon's first chief executive officer in 1968, and remained on the company's board until 2000. He was our longest-serving chairman and board member.
Tom was known as a brilliant engineer who played an integral role in the development of multiple game-changing defense capabilities for our country, including the Lark, which was the world’s first guided missile, as well as the Hawk and Sparrow surface-to-air missile systems. It was during Tom’s time as chief executive that Raytheon also developed the Patriot missile defense system, navigational computers used on the Apollo lunar missions, the Cobra Dane early warning radar installation and the Standard Missile franchise.
Tom Phillips’ business acumen grew Raytheon’s revenue 18-fold during his tenure, helping the company emerge as one of the world’s great corporations. Yet for all his technical and financial achievements, Tom will be best known at Raytheon for his warm and engaging business leadership. Long after his retirement he was in high demand as a speaker at internal and retiree events. He was a frequent visitor to our offices, often surrounded by well-wishers who were thrilled to see him, shake his hand and share a word. Such is the legacy of a simple man with a proud and distinguished career given in service to his company and country.
If the measure of any life is the impact we’ve had on those we leave behind, Tom Phillips will forever be known as a giant within the aerospace and defense industry. At Raytheon, he was known as a leader, mentor and friend. We mourn his passing and will honor his memory today, and into the future.