Mattis Gets Seat on Board of Defense Giant General Dynamics

In this Feb. 7, 2018, photo, then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrives for the daily news briefing at the White House in Washington.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
In this Feb. 7, 2018, photo, then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrives for the daily news briefing at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Retired Marine Gen. Jim Mattis, who resigned as defense secretary last December in a policy dispute with President Donald Trump, has been named to the board of directors of defense giant General Dynamics.

"Jim is a thoughtful, deliberate and principled leader with a proven track record of selfless service to our nation," Phebe Novakovic, chairman and CEO of General Dynamics, said in a company news release Wednesday. "We are honored to have him on our board."

The 68-year-old Mattis previously served on the General Dynamics board from 2013 to 2017 before accepting Trump's nomination to become defense secretary. His compensation and benefits package in his new role was not immediately disclosed.

He is joining the defense firm, the fourth-largest recipient of government contract dollars and best known as the maker of the M1 Abrams tank, as it seeks to adapt to the information age. Last year, General Dynamics sealed a nearly $10 billion deal to buy CSRA, a major information technology contractor.

In January, shortly after Mattis sent in his letter of resignation as SecDef, the Army announced a $714 million delivery order with General Dynamics Land Systems to upgrade 174 M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks.

Mattis' previous involvement in the corporate sector has on occasion come back to haunt him. He was an investor in and board member of the scandal-plagued blood-testing startup Theranos, which eventually agreed to settle "massive fraud" charges leveled by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mattis was never implicated in any wrongdoing.

He resigned as defense secretary in December following Trump's surprise announcement that he was ordering troop withdrawals from Syria. In his letter of resignation, Mattis said Trump should have a defense secretary whose views were "better aligned" with his own.

General Dynamics employs more than 100,000 people worldwide and generated $36.2 billion in revenue in 2018, according to the company's release.

Mattis is expected to continue as the Davies Family Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University while serving on the General Dynamics board.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

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