Paul Lombardi dies at 82

Paul Lombardi Jr., former DynCorp CEO and industry leader, has died at 82.

Paul Lombardi Jr., former DynCorp CEO and industry leader, has died at 82.

The former DynCorp CEO leaves a wide-reaching legacy as a business leader, friend, mentor and family-centric man.

The government market has lost one of its legendary leaders with the death on New Year’s Day of Paul Lombardi Jr. at age 82.

He is best known for his tenure as CEO of DynCorp, a company he helped lead from 1992 until it was acquired by Computer Sciences Corp. in 2003 for $914 million. He is credited with building the IT side of the business from zero to more than $1 billion in annual revenue.

DynCorp's annual revenue was $2.3 billion at the time of its sale to CSC, split between technical services and IT.

Lombardi told WT at the time that even with that scale, he thought DynCorp was too small and recommended to the board that they find a buyer.

Lombardi will be remembered for much more than his business acumen. As his son Paul Lombardi III so eloquently describes in a LinkedIn tribute, his father was a “brilliant leader, a titan of industry and pillar of his community. … Most importantly, he was a caring and devoted husband and a proud father and grandfather.”

I count myself lucky to say I knew him. While it has been some time since we spoke, I have fond memories of our conversations over the years, both on the record and off.

I still laugh when thinking about the story he told me of his parents’ chagrin when he got a job working at a funeral home with a crematorium. It wasn’t something a good Catholic boy did in those days.

There is no doubt about how smart Lombardi was, but there was no arrogance or haughtiness to him. He remained in many ways the kid from New York, who always had a good story to tell. He was the kind of guy you’d want to split a bottle of wine with over a good meal. Because you know you’d learn something and laugh.

The tributes that have poured into the younger Lombardi’s LinkedIn page leave little doubt about his father’s legacy and how people felt about him, with many of them calling him a mentor.

Charlene Wheeless was the vice president of communications at DynCorp and worked closely with Lombardi for a decade.

“He was one of the best leaders and mentors to have come into my life,” she told me via email. “He taught me through words and actions the power of believing in someone and trusting them to do the right thing by you.”

Lombardi’s influence was far-reaching and long lasting.

“He launched too many careers to count and there are many of us who owe at least some part of our success to him. He will be forever missed and forever remembered,” Wheeless said.

“He touched so many people. I considered him a friend, a mentor and an inspiration,” wrote Donna Morea, chair of the board for Science Applications International Corp. and a former senior executive at the CGI Group.

Among many activities in his so-called retirement, Lombardi served on the board for CGI’s federal business. He also was on the board of the Northern Virginia Technology Council and served as chair of the Professional Services Council.

In 2015, he was inducted into the Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards Hall of Fame.

“He was a dear friend, a mentor, the reason I went to PSC after leaving the Pentagon, and a true icon. A very special man,” wrote Stan Soloway, who was the president of PSC for 15 years.

“Your father taught me a great deal and was a trusted advisor for a significant time in my career. His influence will live on forever,” wrote Tim Hurlebaus, president of U.S. commercial and state government at CGI.

Lombardi was born on Nov. 11, 1941, in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Ardsley High School in 1959. He was the first in his family to attend college and studied mechanical engineering at State University of New York, Maritime College.

He began his public sector career inside government, working for the Navy and the Energy Department. When he left government, he went to work at Advanced Technology and Planning Research Corp. before joining DynCorp.

He married Trudy Lee Wagner in 1970. His wife and two children Paul Lombardi III and Cara Lombardi are among the survivors that also include four grandchildren, a brother, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.

A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. on Jan. 19 at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Reston, Virginia.

Flowers can be sent to the church. Or in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital by following this link.