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Unformatted text preview: Coastal Shipyards in Pascagoula, between Biloxi and Mobile. In 1985, New Coastal received a twelve-billion-dollar Navy contract to build four Expedition Class nuclear submarines, and someone upstairs decided Benny needed a permanent home. Raised in New Jersey, educated in Boston, and the husband, at the time, of a repressed socialite, he was miserable living on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. He considered it a serious diversion from the corporate hierarchy he longed for. His wife left him after two years in Biloxi. Platt & Rockland was a public company with twenty-one billion in stockholders' equity, eighty thousand employees in thirty-six divisions in a hundred and three countries. It retailed office supplies, cut timber, made thousands of consumer products, sold insurance, drilled for natural gas, shipped containerized cargo, mined copper, and among many other ventures, built nuclear submarines. It was a sprawling mass of decentralized companies, and as a rule, the left hand seldom knew what the right one was doing. It amassed huge profits in spite of itself. Benny dreamed of streamlining the company, of selling off the junk and investing in the prosperous divisions. He was unabashedly ambitious, and through the ranks of upper managers it was well known that he wanted the top job. To him, life in Biloxi was a cruel joke, a pit stop from the fast lane orchestrated by his enemies within the company. He detested contracting with the government, detested the red tape and bureaucrats and arrogance from the Pentagon. He hated the snail's pace with which the submarines were built. In 1988, he asked to be transferred, and was denied. A year later, the rumors of serious cost overruns on the Expedition project surfaced. Construction came to a halt as government auditors and Pentagon brass descended on New Coastal Shipyards. Benny was on the hot seat, and the end was near. As a defense contractor, Platt & Rockland had a rich history of cost overruns, overbilling, and false claims. It was a way of doing business, and when discovered,...
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This note was uploaded on 07/18/2010 for the course LIT 301 taught by Professor Dra during the Spring '10 term at American College of Computer & Information Sciences.

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