Shipway to chair Austal USA

shipwayNOVEMBER 1, 2012—Rear Adm. John “Dugan” Shipway, U.S. Navy (Ret.) has been elected Chairman of the Board of Austal USA, Mobile, AL, the U.S. subsidiary of Austal Ltd. The role extends a distinguished leadership career including 35 years in the United States Navy and senior management roles in naval shipbuilding and support.

This past March, RADM Shipway, shown above in file photo at left, joined the Austal USA board as an outside director.

Back in June, we reported the resignation of Austal USA President and COO Joe Rella, which set the rumor mill in motion as to who would lead what has become the largest aluminum shipbuilder in the world. One rumor suggested RADM Shipway being named President of Austal USA and General Dynamics acquired the shipbuilding facility from Austal Ltd.

Now as Chairman of Austal USA, RADM Shipway’s “technical and program management expertise will help Austal deliver its Navy contracts efficiently and effectively,” says Austal Chairman John Rothwell.

“Dugan has exceptional skills and experience in naval acquisition and shipbuilding that will be instrumental in guiding the U.S. business, which is now a major U.S. Navy prime contractor,” says Rothwell. “That experience includes managing similar U.S. Navy programs at the highest levels for more than two decades.”

At Austal USA, Shipway will bring his skills to bear on two high-profile U.S. Navy shipbuilding programs: the construction of nine 103-meter Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) under a 10-ship, $1.6 billion contract and five 127-meter Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), four of which are a part of a 10-ship, $3.5 billion contract.

“Dugan shares Austal’s passion for finding and implementing innovative ways to build ships more efficiently and affordably. He is credited with reforming BIW into a lean warship manufacturer.

“That background is particularly relevant now that Austal USA has transitioned into steady production of Littoral Combat Ships and Joint High Speed Vessels. Dugan’s expertise will really help the management to focus on the on-time, on-budget delivery of the extraordinary capability those ships provide the Navy,” says Rothwell.

Shipway succeeds Dr. Lawrence Cavaiola, who served as Austal USA’s inaugural Chairman for four and on-half years.

During his 35-year career as an officer in the U.S. Navy, RADM Shipway specialized in submarines and technical and program management. This included more than four years commanding a nuclear attack submarine and 15 years in military acquisition, during which he was responsible for a broad variety of submarine, submarine weapon and submarine rescue system acquisition and maintenance programs. This included being the Chief Operating Officer of one of the United States’ major warfare centers and Director of Strategic Systems Programs.

After retiring from the Navy, Rear Admiral Shipway joined the General Dynamics organization, serving as Vice President for Full Submarine Support at General Dynamics Electric Boat before being appointed President of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) in April 2003. During his six years in that role, BIW delivered nine Arleigh Burke Class guided missile destroyers (DDGs) to the U.S. Navy.

In the same year he retired from BIW, he was awarded the Navy League of the United States’ highest honor – the Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz award for exemplary leadership in the maritime defense industry.

Rear Admiral Shipway is a member of the Strategic Advisory Group of the United States Strategic Command, the Board of Trustees of the Maine Maritime Academy and a Director of Australia’s major submarine and surface combatant shipyard, ASC Pty Ltd. While at Electric Boat he worked closely with the Australian Government and ASC to establish a path to provide and engineering and technical support for the Royal Australian Navy’s Collins Class submarine project.

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