Ralph E. Hawes, who has been promoted to a new position as head of General Dynamics' missiles and electronics operations in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas, has spent more than 30 years with the U.S. weapons contractor.
Effective Jan. 1, Hawes, 56, will become executive vice president-missiles and electronics. He will direct the company's Convair, electronics, Pomona and Valley Systems divisions, which manufacture various kinds of missiles and test equipment for electronics systems on military aircraft and have a total of about 23,000 employees.
Announcement of Hawes' promotion comes six months after the Justice Department abruptly dropped criminal charges against General Dynamics and four company executives, including Hawes and former NASA Administrator James M. Beggs.
The government, conceding that it had insufficient evidence, cleared the executives of charges that they defrauded the government of about $3.2 million by writing off development costs on the Sgt. York anti-aircraft gun system to unauthorized accounts.
In his new position, Hawes will report directly to Herbert F. Rogers, president and chief operating officer at company headquarters in St. Louis.
Hawes is corporate vice president and general manager of the Valley Systems division in Rancho Cucamonga. His successor will be Michael C. Keel, who has been division vice president and program director for cruise missiles at the Convair division in San Diego.
The alignment of missiles and electronics operations under Hawes' direction "represents a logical move in the light of future business objectives and opportunities," said Stanley C. Pace, chairman and chief executive. The company did not elaborate, and Hawes was not available for interview.
Hawes joined General Dynamics in 1956 at the Pomona plant, where he spent most of his career, including eight years as vice president and general manager. He went to the Valley Systems division in October, 1985, in his present position.
Keel, who joined the company in 1963 at Pomona, moved to his present post at Convair in late 1982.
The Pomona division, which has about 8,000 employees, makes so-called standard missiles and the Phalanx gun system. Convair, with 8,300 employees, manufactures Tomahawk cruise missiles for the Navy and Air Force, as well as commercial aircraft fuselages. Valley Systems, which has about 3,200 employees, makes Stinger shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles and RAM missiles. The electronics division in San Diego manufactures test equipment for the Air Force.