Jack Hartley

Former Harris CEO Jack Hartley Passes Away

Jun 6, 2018

Harris leaders and employees were saddened by the passing Tuesday of former Harris chairman, president and CEO John T. “Jack” Hartley, who guided the company during technologically transformative years over a nearly four-decade career.

Hartley served in major company leadership positions from 1978 until his retirement in 1995, an era that included a transition away from printing press machinery to electronic-based technology.

“Jack left an indelible mark on Harris, our industry and the entire Central Florida community,” said Bill Brown, chairman, president and CEO of Harris. “He helped lead Harris’ transformation from its printing press heritage into an advanced digital communications company – planting the seeds for the global technology company we are today.

“Even after his retirement, Jack remained a close friend to me, the company and the community. All of us mourn his passing. He will be sorely missed.”  

Hartley began his career at Harris legacy company Radiation Inc. as a research engineer in 1956, working on advanced programs and business development. He led the company’s semiconductor operation at its outset in 1964 and continued leadership roles into the 1970s. He became executive vice president and a member of Harris’ Board of Directors in 1976, was elected president in 1978, CEO in 1986 and chairman of the board in 1988.

At the time of his retirement, Harris had revenues of $3.3 billion and was focused on four major businesses – electronic systems, semiconductors, communications and office systems.

Hartley remained committed to the company and the community long after his retirement, serving as a member of the Florida Tech Board of Trustees and helping to maintain close relationships between the college and Harris. He served on the school’s board for three decades and helped secure significant financial support.

“Jack’s impact on Florida Tech cannot be overstated and will forever be remembered,” said Dwayne McCay, Florida Tech president. “As with his leadership at Harris, and really in everything he did, Jack was guided by his unerring desire for excellence and his vision for how to achieve it. And he always achieved what he set out to do, a fact for which all of us at Florida Tech are eternally grateful.”