On May 23, 2007, I participated in a CONNECT/MIT Enterprise Forum panel discussion moderated by National Public Radio’s Scott Horsley, along with Gene Ray, Bill Roper, and Tom Darcy. At the time, Roper was an employee of SAIC. This week he announced his resignation from SAIC to become CEO and president of VeriSign in the Bay Area.

MITEF Special Panel Forum

MITEF Special Panel Forum: Keith McKenzie (MITEF), Scott Horsely (Moderator), Gene Ray (Panelist), Bob Beyster (Panelist), Bill Roper (Panelist), Tom Darcy (Panelist), Craig Nelson (MITEF).

Horsley asked questions like, “Why did you start SAIC?” “Would I do it again?” “Why is employee ownership worthwhile?” “How would you finance a new high-tech company these days without mortgaging your house?” Over 300 people attended this panel discussion at the Salk institute which filled the auditorium. We all enjoyed it. There was a book signing afterwards.

MITEF Panelists

MITEF Panelists

I believe my remarks against the use of venture capital in financing startups surprised some in the audience, which included some venture capitalists and company CEOs looking for venture capital. I enjoyed getting together with these three friends that I worked so many long hours with at SAIC and who are responsible for so much of the company’s success. I hope to do more panels like these in the future.

The day after the CONNECT/MIT Enterprise Forum event, I attended a luncheon at the Sheraton, Harbor Island, and was the guest speaker of the day. Chuck Nichols was the moderator. Chuck is an old friend who worked with me for many years at SAIC as our internal legal counsel. He is also an avid sailor and a good independent businessman. He asked me pretty much the same menu of questions that I had discussed at the CONNECT/MIT Enterprise Forum event.

In addition to those questions, he felt I should address in public the claims made by the Vanity Fair writers about events at SAIC and the personal remarks made against me. There were no questions from the audience, but I answered this question anyway since I wanted to put to rest those issues in most people’s minds as soon as possible.

As you may recall, the answer to the issues having to do with SAIC was that most major issues had been cleared up, with the exception of a couple of contracts, specifically the Greek Olympics and Telkom South Africa. To the best of our ability we made restitution in all cases demanding that. We submitted to international arbitration for the Greek Olympics and Telkom South Africa. All legal issues have been cleared up at the present time, and in the case of the Greek Olympics and Telkom South Africa, the issues were resolved in SAIC’s favor by the international courts.

Regarding the personal remarks, the accusations made by the authors originated from a legal suit which occurred many years ago. The accusations are not true. The issues have been settled and are certainly old news.

2 Responses to “CONNECT/MIT Enterprise Forum”

  1. 1 Al Buckles

    Dr Beyster,
    I delivered Gen Cartwright the autographed copy of your book on Tuesday, 2 May 2007. He was very pleased to get it and had some very kind words about you and SAIC. He passed on that you will always be welcome at the STRATCOM SAG sessions.

    It is great to see you back in the fight!

    Al Buckles

  2. 2 Dr. Beyster

    Al: Thank you for giving the SAIC Solution book to General Cartwright — I would be curious to hear his comments. I should have included some kind words about the good work that the Strategic Advisory Group does for the country, and maybe I can work it into a later edition. As you know, I will try to make the SAG meeting sometime in the near future, perhaps this fall.

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