Lockheed Martin to lay off 4,000 workers, shrink California operations

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin on Thursday said it would cut 4,000 positions and close several facilities due to reduced government defense spending.  

The Bethesda, Md.-based company said it would close plants in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas and Arizona by the middle of 2015. It will also close four buildings at its Sunnyvale, Calif., campus.

"Reducing our workforce of dedicated employees and closing facilities are among the most difficult decisions we make," said Chief Executive Marillyn Hewson. "In the face of government budget cuts and an increasingly complex global security landscape, these actions are necessary for the future of our business and will position Lockheed Martin to better serve our customers."

Lockheed Martin plans to consolidate some of its facilities to become more efficient. The company said some employees would be moved to other locations, partly to reduce costs. 

Defense contractors have been scaling back their workforces in response to the package of federal budget cuts known as sequestration.  

Since 2008, Lockheed Martin has cut 146,000 employees, to 116,000 today. It has also scaled back the size of its operations, removing 1.5 million square feet of facility space. 

Following the announcement, shares of Lockheed Martin were up 51 cents at $137.76 Thursday.  


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