The Executive Chairman of Austal Limited, Mr John Rothwell AO, today announced the appointment of Mr Bob Browning
as Chief Executive Officer of Austal USA
, effective mid August this year.
Mr Rothwell said Mr Browning would add substantial experience to Austal’s existing executive team, and assist the company achieve its strategic growth plans across all sectors of the business.
Mr Browning has been a non-executive Director of the Company since September 2003. In his new executive position with the Company, he will be based in Mobile, Alabama, where Austal opened its US shipyard in 1999. He will retire as a Director upon commencing in his new role.
“We are pleased to welcome Bob to the executive team. His track record in Australia and the US reflects his ability to deliver strong shareholder value and corporate growth across a range of industries,” Mr Rothwell said.
“In his most recent capacity, Bob took a company with a market capitalisation of around $350 million at the time of his appointment in 2001, to its present position as one of Australia’s leading energy infrastructure companies, with a value now of over $7 billion.
“His experience in strategic development, sales, infrastructure management and team building will assist us achieve our goal to be a leading supplier and manufacturer of military and commercial vessels in the US.”
Mr Rothwell said Mr Browning would focus initially on Austal’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program, the New Joint High Speed Vessel program which has a requirement for up to 12 vessels, and to explore opportunities for other US Defense programs.
Mr Browning will move from Perth to Mobile once he finalises his current commitments to his present employer, but no later than mid-July.
“I am very fortunate to have been offered this opportunity with Austal,” Mr Browning said.
“Through my position as a non executive Director, I have come to appreciate first-hand the company’s potential depth of market reach and unique product offerings, particularly in the US.
“As a developer of businesses and systems, I hope to add valuable input to the talented team who have proudly progressed the company to its present stage.
“It is the opportunity to make a great company better which most excites me. This has been a priority for me throughout my career and I am happy to be joining another dynamic group of people at Austal to assist them in achieving the same result.
“My wife and I have always intended to eventually move back to the US to be closer to our sons and our broader family. So the timing is perfectly suited to our planning.
“I have been very fortunate to have worked with an impressive group of people while I have lived in Australia. This opportunity provides me with a better ability to maintain those connections into the future.”