JANUARY 10, 2016 — Andrew Bellamy is stepping down as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of shipbuilder Austal Limited (ASX:ASB).
Announcing the move, Chairman John Rothwell said that Mr. Bellamy had "elected to take a career sabbatical" and that he would be succeeded by David Singleton under what Mr. Rothwell called "a considered succession plan.
Mr. Singleton will commence full time as CEO-designate from the beginning of February and formally assume the role on April 4, 2016. Mr. Bellamy will remain at Austal until the end of April 2016 under a formal transition period and the two will work closely over the coming months to ensure an efficient handover.
Mr. Singleton has a served as a Non-Executive Director on the Austal Board since December 2011.
He has an honors degree in mechanical engineering from University College, London, and started his career with the U.K. Ministry of Defence. He was most recently CEO and Managing Director of Perth-based mineral exploration company Poseidon Nickel Limited.
He brings business expertise and experience to Austal gained in defense, manufacturing, and military product support and sustainment that includes four years as CEO of Alenia Marconi Systems (AMS), a defense and civil electronics joint venture between BAE Systems and Finmeccanica that had turnover of around EUR 1.4 billion, employing 7,500 people across the U.K., Italy, the USA and Germany.
His leadership credentials in international defense contracting, include holding numerous senior roles with BAE Systems including as global head of strategy.
Acknowledging Mr. Bellamy's efforts at Austal, Mr. Rothwell said he had grown the business impressively, with revenue increasing threefold and record profits reported.
"He leaves the business with a strong balance sheet having reduced debt by more than 50% and establishing a net cash position. Austal is extremely well positioned for further growth in both Australia and the U.S.," said Mr. Rothwell. "I'm grateful to Andrew for the open and honest dialogue he has had with me over recent months to allow us to effect this transition in as smooth as possible way for both sides which has given us the ability to conduct a wide search for a successor both internally and externally to the company. Both the Board and I are sorry to lose Andrew but we understand his positon. I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank him for his efforts and achievements at Austal and wish him well in his future endeavors.
"At the same time, it is pleasing to be able to announce David Singleton as the CEO-designate. We have long considered David a logical successor, he has a strong working knowledge of our operations, extensive expertise in civil and defence contracting, a broad knowledge of the defense sector – including naval systems – and support, as well as his CEO experience at ASX-listed companies. He has also worked closely with Andrew in the development of our strategy and is committed to the ongoing implementation of this as we further grow Austal's operations."
Mr. Bellamy said: "I'm very proud of what we have achieved at Austal and the strong position it is now in, but after five years as CEO and more than seven years with the company, I feel the time is right to take a step back to enjoy an extended break. This has been facilitated because we have an excellent internal candidate who is ready to take the reins under our succession plan and he will be well supported by our high quality management team."
Austal says it has commenced a search process to appoint a replacement Director for Mr, Singleton to its board and is targeting candidates with strong industry know-how about the defense and manufacturing sectors.
Austal said that Mr. Bellamy will receive statutory and other entitlements under his contract upon leaving Austal.
More biographical details on Mr. Singleton and on his remuneration were disclosed in a filing available HERE
Austal's facilities include shipyards in Austalia, the U.S. and the Philippines