Joseph Boyd

Former Harris CEO Dr. Joseph Boyd Passes Away

Apr 19, 2019

The entire Harris family was saddened Friday by the passing of former company chairman, president and CEO Dr. Joseph Boyd, who was instrumental in the company’s merger with Radiation Inc. and transition into a technology innovator.

Dr. Boyd led the company from 1978 until his retirement in 1987, overseeing a period of significant market expansion and technology change.

“We are all deeply saddened by Dr. Boyd’s passing. He played a pivotal role in establishing Harris’ roots as a technology innovator and building our earliest presence here in Central Florida,” said Bill Brown, Harris chairman, president and CEO. “Joe’s passion for technology, education and community established a solid foundation that we continue to build on today.

“Joe remained close to me, Harris and our community long after his retirement. We owe him a great deal and will miss him,” he added. 

Dr. Boyd joined Melbourne-based Radiation in 1962 and become president in 1963 – a time when the company had $30 million in revenue and 2,000 employees. Radiation employees worked on telemetry and data-handling equipment for the Apollo spacecraft, Orbiting Astronomical Observatory, Titan and Minuteman ICBMS.

He became executive vice president of the electronics segment when the company merged with Cleveland-based Harris-Intertype Corporation in 1967. He was named company president in 1972 and chairman and CEO in 1978.

He then spearheaded the company’s headquarters move from Cleveland to Melbourne.  

“The intellectual focus of the company had shifted to Florida, and it was clear that we were going to become an electronics company,” he later recalled. “When I became CEO, I wanted to be at the center of gravity.”

Over the next nine years, he led the company through significant changes – exiting the printing business and expanding its presence in electronic systems, semiconductors, communications and office equipment networks.

When he retired in 1987, Harris reported $2.1 billion in revenues and had 23,000 employees worldwide.