Robert L. North, who was dismissed last December as a TRW group vice president after the government accused the aerospace company of overcharging on defense contracts, has been named president of Hecht-Nielsen Neurocomputer Corp., a start-up computer company based in San Diego.
TRW pleaded guilty last Thursday in U.S. District Court in Denver to one felony count of overcharging the Pentagon and promised to repay $17 million to the government in connection with the Colorado incident and unrelated work performed at TRW plants in San Diego, Sunnyvale and Cleveland.
North, who last headed TRW's Los Angeles-based Electronic Systems Group in his 21 years with the company, has said he knew nothing of the overcharging, describing himself after his firing as a "sacrificial lamb."
North has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against his former employer in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
North, who has acted as a consultant to HNC over the last several months and who actually took over executive duties at the company in July, refused to comment Tuesday on the status of his lawsuit or on TRW's pleading last week.