L-3 Communications CEO Lanza Dead at 74

Frank C. Lanza, the chairman, chief executive and co-founder of defense contractor L-3 Communications Holdings Inc., died suddenly while recovering from recent surgery, the company said Wednesday.

The 74-year-old Lanza had visited doctors on Tuesday and was informed that he was proceeding satisfactorily from a surgery that took place two months ago, lead board director Robert B. Millard said in a statement.

Lanza co-founded L-3 in 1997 after previously serving in roles including president and operating officer of Lockheed Martin Corp.'s C3I and systems integration sector, and president and COO of Loral Corp. from 1981 to 1996.

L-3 's board met Wednesday to discuss succession plans, spokesman Evan Goetz said.

The New York-based company makes specialized electronics used mostly in military communications.

Shares of L-3 rose $5.34, or 7.3 percent, to $78.83 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.