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Company Gets 3rd President in Less Than Year

June 04, 1985|BRUCE HOROVITZ | Times Staff Writer

For the third time in less than a year, Pacific Scientific Co. of Anaheim has changed presidents in an effort to find a formula for reversing its decline in earnings.

Edgar S. Brower, former president of Allied Corp.'s electronic components division in Morristown, N.J., has been named president of the precision instrument manufacturer, succeeding Harry R. Goff, 70, who continues as chairman and chief executive.

Last August, Goff, the company's founder, named himself to replace Stephen J. Toth as president and chief executive. Toth resigned in what was termed by the company at the time "a mutual decision between Toth and the board."

The rapid turnover in the key spot at Pacific Scientific is symptomatic of the turmoil taking place within companies that supply equipment to the struggling nuclear power industry, said Willard Brown, an analyst at First Albany Securities Inc. in Albany, N.Y.

For years, Pacific Scientific enjoyed "huge profit margins" from sales of its mechanical shock arresters, which protect nuclear power plant pipes from earthquake damage, Brown said. But since nuclear power plant construction slowed to a near standstill in 1983, the company's profits have tumbled.

To make matters worse, Brown added, "a lot of the company's sales also depend on the semiconductor industry, and that industry has been in a depression."

In 1984, Pacific Scientific's profit dropped to $7 million from $10.8 million the year before. The company posted net earnings of $1.5 million for the first quarter of 1985, up from a $1.3-million profit a year earlier.

In an interview Monday, the 54-year-old Brower, a former assistant postmaster general, said he hopes to build revenues and profits by pushing for growth in Pacific Scientific's aerospace products group and in the motor products units it recently acquired from Honeywell Inc. The company is also looking "vigorously" for acquisitions, he added.

Brower, who will oversee Pacific Scientific's five operating divisions, said he joined the company because the opportunity is there to eventually move into the chief executive's slot. Despite the recent changes at the top, he said, he felt confident in joining the company "because the previous changes were not due to internal strife but for personal reasons."

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