I was pleased to read a review of The SAIC Solution in the San Diego Business Journal. Here is what Thomas York said about the book on May 14, 2007 in his Editor’s Notebook:
Speaking of power, J. Robert Beyster, as everyone knows in and around these parts, built one heck of a powerhouse in SAIC Inc., which has become one of the nation’s highest-profile defense contractors. (Just last week, as senior reporter Mike Allen notes this week elsewhere in these pages, the San Diego contractor said it landed the contract to take over the work of the Defense Supply Center to supply chemicals, petroleum, oils and lubricants to the military, a contract that could be worth as much as $6.25 billion.) Now Beyster has published a book on how he built SAIC into the mega-operation that it has become, and how it can land multibillion-dollar contracts. His book, “The SAIC Solution: How We Built an $8 Billion Employee-Owned Technology Company,” is a must read for anyone in the business world looking for insights into the mind of a genius.
Until last fall, when SAIC, also known as Science Applications International Corp., went public, the business was one of the largest private employee-owned engineering and technical firms in the nation — quite unusual for an organization of such size and complexity. In his book, Beyster goes into some detail about how employee stock ownership worked from his earlier days — SAIC even went so far as to establish a broker-dealer subsidiary to repurchase stock of departing employees, who were required to sell their shares if they left the company. Beyster spends a great many pages on how SAIC works — each business unit is independent and makes its own decisions for the most part, and he explains how leaders are identified and tabbed for leadership positions within the company. “The SAIC Solution” provides many insights into the thinking of Beyster, who is not only a manager and scientist, but a rare brilliant strategist when it comes to his leadership abilities.