General Dynamics CEO calls tech companies' unwillingness to work with military 'a little troubling'

By Marjorie Censer / June 12, 2019 at 1:25 PM

Phebe Novakovic, the chief executive of General Dynamics, said this week she is "alarmed" that some technology companies do not want to work with the U.S. military.

Speaking before the Boston College Chief Executives Club yesterday, Novakovic said yes when asked whether Silicon Valley technology companies could do more with the defense industry.

"I'm frankly alarmed when I see some companies to whom much is given not want to work with the U.S. government," she said. "Who do they think provides them this freedom? Where do they think the platform for their technology innovation comes? It comes from the security and stability of this nation."

"As an American," Novakovic added, she finds "that a little troubling."

Last year, Google ended its work on a Pentagon artificial intelligence program after employees protested.

Novakovic noted yesterday that many technology companies do participate.

General Dynamics has "established some strategic alliances with what the Defense Department calls non-traditional suppliers," she said. "We're also looking for people with smarter and better ways to do things."