Lockheed Says 600 Execs Accept Buyouts

Lockheed Martin Corp. said Wednesday that about 600 of its executives have accepted buyouts as part of a plan to reduce staff.

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) -- Lockheed Martin Corp. said Wednesday that about 600 of its executives have accepted buyouts as part of a plan to reduce staff.

The nation's largest defense contractor, which is under pressure from government efforts to cut defense spending, said it started a voluntary severance program for vice presidents and directors in July, and about 25 percent of those executives have applied to accept financial incentives.

At the time the program was announced, a Lockheed spokesman said the company didn't have a specific target number for the buyout.

The move to trim executive ranks comes as the Pentagon, its biggest customer, pressures defense contractors to cut overhead costs on huge weapons programs. About 85 percent of Lockheed's $45 billion in sales last year came from U.S. government clients, with the Pentagon making up the biggest share.

The reduction in executive posts will save money starting in 2011 and help bring Lockheed Martin's leadership into line with its smaller work force, the company said.

The company said it has cut 10,000 job cuts since the beginning of 2009. Lockheed Martin said it has about 136,000 employees now.

In afternoon trading, Lockheed Martin shares fell 63 cents to $68.96.

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