Austal Limited (ASX:ASB) reports that the Austal USA Board of Directors has appointed Rusty Murdaugh as president of Austal USA, effective September 9, 2021. Murdaugh, who joined Austal USA in 2017 as chief financial officer, has been serving as interim president of the company since February 2021. As interim president, Murdaugh led the addition of steel shipbuilding to the Austal USA manufacturing operations and the shipbuilder’s facility expansion in Mobile by acquiring additional waterfront and services capability on the Mobile River.
Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg welcomed the announcement and congratulated Murdaugh.
“Rusty has overseen a number of significant, positive developments at Austal USA in a short period of time, including the start of construction of new infrastructure to enable steel shipbuilding; and new contracts that position the company exceptionally well for further growth,” said Gregg. “I congratulate him on his appointment and look forward to working with him to achieve further success in the U.S. and international markets.”
“Over the last six months, the company has secured multiple contracts under Rusty’s leadership and is well-positioned for continued growth,” said Austal USA board chairman Larry Cavaiola. “Rusty has a clear strategic vision to grow the company’s business and lead Austal USA’s worldwide operations.”
Murdaugh is a veteran of the U.S. defense industry. Before joining Austal, he held leadership positions with Esterline Corporation, Avnet, United Technologies (formerly Goodrich), and Honeywell.
“I am honored to be selected to lead this great company,” Murdaugh said. “I am excited about the opportunity to lead the world’s finest shipbuilders, and I’m looking forward to the growth ahead in the coming years as we win new shipbuilding and ship maintenance contracts.”
The appointment comes as Austal USA grows its portfolio of new construction, service and support, and autonomous vessel contracts. The company has submitted a bid to build the U.S. Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter stage II program and is executing a preliminary design and concept study for the U.S. Navy’s Light Amphibious Warship program. The company also recently secured two services and maintenance contracts, expanding its post-delivery business.