Dad passed away peacefully early this morning. The family was with him. He was wearing his favorite sailing clothes, including an America’s Cup jacket and his University of Michigan cap.
We all knew this day would come, but it’s never easy to say goodbye. Although this is a very sad time for our family, let’s celebrate the life of this remarkable man. He touched so many lives and gave to others selflessly. We all want to make a mark on the world, and my father—Dr. J. Robert Beyster—really did. See a link to a copy of his obituary, which tells the story. We welcome comments on this blog.
Thank you for your love and friendship, and for being such an important part of Dad’s life.
Things have quieted down since my birthday party a few weeks ago. Thank you all again for the birthday wishes. It was good to hear from you, and to watch the videos.
My coauthor for The SAIC Solution — Peter Economy — recently wrote a column on Inc.com that I think you might find of interest. It is titled Dr. B’s 9 Billion-Dollar Success Secrets. The column summarizes the nine lessons we learned from building SAIC, and they will probably be familiar to those of you who worked at the company.
I would like to take some time to thank everyone for wishing me a happy 90th birthday. To be honest, I never expected to make it this far, but I am very glad I did.
We had a very enjoyable party at the Beach & Tennis Club this past Saturday, and I was surrounded by friends and family, including a number of SAIC employees, present and past. I especially enjoyed watching the videos that you sent for the occasion.
It is my understanding that Robert is still accepting these videos, and you are welcome to continue to submit them for the next week or so to be included in the long version that he is putting together. Click here if you would like to do that.
Thank you again for the best birthday ever. I look forward to many more. I have included a family photo from the party below.
Photo courtesy of J.Dixx Photography
I am pleased to announce the formal release of our new book, The SAIC Solution: Built by Employee Owners. As most of you know, in 1969 I founded a technology company with a small group of fellow scientists and engineers. This company, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), grew into the largest employee-owned research and engineering firm in the United States with annual revenue of more than $11 billion by 2013.
In this book, I explore the unique principles that made SAIC great, including putting people first, making employees owners, pushing decision making throughout the organization, experimenting constantly, and more. You will also hear the story of my own entrepreneurial journey of discovery and personal growth. This story is supplemented with the stories of many of the key men and women in SAIC’s history, who were interviewed specifically for this book.
With the second edition of The SAIC Solution, I also tell the story of shortcomings in succession planning and governance that led to my retirement in 2004. Within eighteen months, SAIC held an initial public offering (IPO) and subsequently dismantled its powerful employee-ownership culture. The result was reduced shareholder value, and the eventual split of SAIC into two companies, Leidos and SAIC.
The book is freshly revised with new chapters on governance and the future of employee ownership, and it includes best practices for steady and rapid growth. I hope you will take a moment to watch the trailer for the book, and that you will purchase a copy. If you’ve already got a copy of the first edition of The SAIC Solution, I think you’ll enjoy reading “the rest of the story.”
Just a reminder that we are putting together a video for Dr. Beyster’s 90th birthday party in July, and we need your short video contributions. Please take a few minutes to record a video of up to 30 seconds, expressing your 90th birthday wishes to Dr. Beyster. He will enjoy seeing all of you again on this happy occasion. You can use your desktop or laptop computer, video camera, smart phone, or other platform to record the video.
After you record your video, simply click this link to upload it into the Dropbox folder that we have set up for this purpose. Follow the brief instructions and we will take care of the rest.
Thank you for your participation!
As a part of Dr. Beyster’s upcoming 90th birthday celebration in July, we would like to invite you to record your video birthday wishes to Dr. Beyster and upload them to our special Dropbox folder. Simply create a short (no more than 30 seconds) video using your desktop or laptop computer, video camera, smart phone, or other platform, click this link, then follow the instructions to upload your video file.
We will collect all the submitted videos and assemble them into a montage that will be played for Dr. Beyster on his birthday. We hope you will join us in wishing Dr. Beyster a happy 90th birthday!