On Friday, 22 June 2012, Mr. Joseph Rella – Austal USA President and Chief Operating Officer resigned and the Board of Directors accepted his resignation. Yesterday, the Austal USA Board named Chief Financial Officer Brian Leathers interim President of Austal USA and Mr. Craig Perciavalle as Sr. Vice President of Shipyard Operations.
“This transition is a natural step”, said Austal Chief Executive Officer Andrew Bellamy, “We are moving from infrastructure growth to a focus of putting this cutting-edge yard to work meeting the terms of our Littoral Combat Ship and Joint High Speed Vessel contracts and strengthening the overall management of operations.”
“We have much to do”, says Leathers, “Austal is under contract with the U.S. Navy to build nine Spearhead-class Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) under a 10-ship, $1.6 billion contract, and five Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships, four of which are part of a 10-ship, $3.5 billion contract. The people, the plant and the processes are in place and Austal USA will be busy building ships for years to come.”
“The Board of Directors is currently conducting a leadership search, and a new President of Austal USA will be announced in due course” said Bellamy, “but there is a strong team in place already, and we will take our time picking a candidate who will best serve the Company, our naval customers and the community that supports our Mobile, Alabama facility”.