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Local Harris Corp. exec optimistic about growth prospects

Dana Mehnert
Harris Corp.
Dana Mehnert

Dana Mehnert, a longtime Harris executive was recently named president of the company’s Communication Systems segment, and he says it will take some time for any organizational changes to happen once the final approval is given to the merger between Harris and L3 Technologies.  That is expected to happen sometime next year.

But whatever change does happen, Mehnert sees what is being called a ‘merger of equals’ as being a good thing.

In an interview with WXXI News, Mehnert said that both Harris and L3 should complement each others abilities, without a lot of overlap.

“If I look at it, our communications business is based in Rochester, (it is a ) world leader; the space business that we have,  that’s also got a major operation in Rochester, a world leader in optical space communications. So I would certainly see as we bring the companies together we would be strengthening that presence and that capability in Rochester,” Mehnert said.

Harris has more than 3,500 in the Rochester area in the Communications segment and the Space and Intelligent Systems business. There are nearly 200 employees who work for L3 Technologies in Victor.

And Mehnert says the merger of the two companies will create a more formidable defense and electronics company which should be able to compete even more effectively on a global scale.

He also told WXXI News that a number of executives with both companies have known each other for years.

“We know the company very well, I think they know us very well, it’s a good fit; they’ve got a number of distributed businesses but they have a number of businesses that we’ve worked as partners or touched along the way, and I think everybody is excited on both sides about the power of this new company.”

While in Rochester on Monday, Senator Chuck Schumer talked about the conversation he had this past weekend with Harris CEO William Brown. Schumer says he reminded Brown the senator has worked to help Harris in the past, and he says the Harris executive is committed to keeping the current number of Harris employees in Rochester with the possibility that number will grow. And Schumer says Brown also is committed to keep the 140 or so employees now at L3 Technologies in Victor.

The merger of Harris and L3 Technologies will be called 'L3 Harris Technologies' will become the sixth-largest U.S. defense contractor.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.