With no ships on its current order book Philly Shipyard has declared its intentions to “go gray” and seek U.S. government contracts. It has already succeeded in becoming one of four shipyards awarded contracts worth $2.9 million each to carry out design studies for the proposed Common Hull Auxiliary Multi-Mission Platform (CHAMP) vessel (see earlier story).
In a stock exchange announcement today, the shipbuilder announced that it is to appoint a Chief Financial Officer with “deep government contracts experience” and that Brian Leathers will assume the CFO position immediately following the second quarter 2019 meeting of the company’s board on July 15, 2019.
Leathers will replace Jan Ivar Nielsen, who is resigning to pursue another executive role within the Aker group: General Manager in Ghana for the newly established investment company Aker Ghana Industrial Corporation (AGIC). Nielsen will remain available to the company until August 15, 2019 to ensure a smooth transition.
Leathers has served as the company’s Strategy and Compliance Officer for the past six months, reporting to Nielsen. Prior to that, Leathers was engaged by the company as a consultant with respect to its strategic efforts to position the shipyard as one that can perform both government and commercial work. As the new CFO, Leathers will report directly to CEO Steinar Nerbovik.
WAS AUSTAL USA SVP and CFO
Leathers previously worked as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Austal USA. During his tenure, Austal USA grew from fewer than 1,000 employees to more than 4,000 employees, converted from a commercial shipyard into a government contractor and was awarded over $6 billion in Navy work.
“I am delighted to welcome Brian to the senior management team as our new CFO,” said Nerbovik. “His strong performance here at Philly Shipyard and his significant experience with Navy and other government shipbuilding programs shows he is well-suited for the role as we transition our shipyard into a compliant government contractor.”
Leathers holds an Executive Masters in Business Administration from Troy University, a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from the University of West Florida and is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University