The public rarely hears a peep from El Segundo-based Computer Sciences Corp. and its publicity-shy chairman, William R. Hoover, even though Hoover has built CSC into one of the largest and most influential technology companies in Southern California.
Now Hoover's 22-year reign at Computer Sciences is drawing to a close. Next Monday, the 63-year-old chairman and chief executive is expected to announce his retirement to the company's board of directors, sources said, effective next April.
"He has been the primary driver of the company for years and years," said Bill Rabin, an equities analyst at JP Morgan Securities in New York. He called Hoover's push to diversify beyond government computer-services contracts--long the company's bread-and-butter--a "brilliant move."
CSC declined to comment on Hoover's retirement plans. But on Tuesday, it released a glowing financial report for its fiscal second quarter ending Sept. 30. Profits hit $22.9 million, a 25% increase from the same three-month period last year.
Founded in 1959, Computer Sciences was a pioneer in the now-booming computer services field. It helped design and run computer systems for government agencies ranging from the Department of Defense to the Environmental Protection Agency.
CSC's reputation, however, has been sullied at times by problems with federal contracts. In June, 1993, a company division was suspended from bidding on new government contracts after an investigation revealed the firm had billed the Environmental Protection Agency for about $13 million in questionable expenses.
But the suspension was lifted a month later and the company never admitted any wrongdoing.
Hoover's likely successor, President and Chief Operating Officer Van B. Honeycutt, is expected to continue expanding the roster of corporate clients, said Rabin, adding, "Their management is very, very solid."