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Shipyard Management Shuffle at General Dynamics

Geiger to head EB, Harris picks up Bath

Sep. 18, 2013 - 05:48PM   |  
By CHRISTOPHER P. CAVAS   |   Comments
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WASHINGTON — Jeff Geiger, president of surface warship builder Bath Iron Works (BIW) since 2009, will take up the same position with Electric Boat, a specialist in nuclear submarine construction, parent company General Dynamics announced Sept. 18.

GD also is consolidating leadership of its National Steel and Shipbuilding (NASSCO) yard and Bath under Fred Harris, a former Electric Boat manager who has led NASSCO since 2006.

Mike Mulligan at Electric Boat and Kevin Graney at Bath will report to Harris as vice president and general manager of their respective yards.

Harris and Geiger will report to John Casey, executive vice president of Marine Systems for General Dynamics.

The timing of the announcements coincides with the retirement of Kevin Poitras, the current president of Electric Boat.

“This transition is an opportunity for us to review how General Dynamics’ surface-ship businesses operate, to ensure we are capturing all possible efficiencies as we support our primary customer, the U.S. Navy,” Casey said in a press release.

The three shipyards each have very distinct situations. Electric Boat, with facilities in Groton, Conn., and Quonset Point, R.I., designs and builds nuclear-powered submarines. The yard shares in the construction of SSN 774 Virginia-class submarines with the Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding shipyard in Virginia.

BIW, in the small town of Bath, Maine, concentrates on surface warship construction. The yard is currently working on DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class and DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

San Diego-based NASSCO, the only major shipyard on the west coast, builds support ships, including the Mobile Landing Platforms and Afloat Forward Staging Base ships for the US Navy, along with merchant ships, usually for Jones Act trading between US ports.

Here is the company’s full press release announcing the changes:

General Dynamics Announces Electric Boat, Bath Iron Works Leadership Changes

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) today announced that Jeffrey S. Geiger, president of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, will become president of General Dynamics Electric Boat effective November 4, 2013, following the retirement of Kevin J. Poitras. Geiger will continue reporting to John P. Casey, executive vice president of Marine Systems for General Dynamics.

In addition, Frederick J. Harris will remain as president of General Dynamics NASSCO and will also serve as president of Bath Iron Works. Bath Iron Works and NASSCO will remain as wholly owned and separate General Dynamics subsidiaries. Michael J. Mulligan, president of General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, will remain a vice president of the corporation and will become vice president and general manager of Bath Iron Works; Kevin M. Graney, currently vice president of operations at NASSCO, will become vice president and general manager of NASSCO. Mulligan and Graney will report to Harris; Harris will continue reporting to Casey.

In announcing the changes Casey said, “Kevin Poitras has demonstrated his capabilities over a 40-year career with Electric Boat. We appreciate his many accomplishments and his dedicated service, and wish him well in retirement.”

Casey continued, “This transition is an opportunity for us to review how General Dynamics’ surface-ship businesses operate, to ensure we are capturing all possible efficiencies as we support our primary customer, the U.S. Navy.

“Fred Harris, as president of NASSCO over the past seven years, has led his team in identifying and implementing creative ways to cost-effectively deliver state-of-the-art surface vessels. I’m confident that he, Mike Mulligan, Kevin Graney and the teams at Bath Iron Works and NASSCO will find new opportunities to gain additional efficiencies across these already high-performance organizations,” Casey said.

Poitras, 61, became president of Electric Boat in May 2012. Previously he was senior vice president of engineering, design and business development since September 2010. He joined Electric Boat in 1973 as a construction support engineer and held positions of increasing responsibility within the engineering and operations departments before becoming vice president, engineering and design programs in 2005. He earned a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering from the Maine Maritime Academy.

Geiger, 52, became president of Bath Iron Works in 2009. He joined the shipyard in 1984 as a production planner and held a series of progressively more-responsible positions in production, engineering, manufacturing, planning and quality assurance. He has had responsibility for all engineering, design, material procurement, planning, quality control, strategic planning, communications and business development at the shipyard. Geiger is a graduate of the University of Michigan where he earned bachelor and masters degrees in naval architecture.

Graney, 49, became vice president of Operations for NASSCO in January 2013. He oversees the manufacturing execution of NASSCO’s ship construction programs. He previously served as NASSCO's vice president of programs since March 2010; he also has served as a program manager with Electric Boat, and was a submariner in the U.S. Navy. Graney holds a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering and nuclear science from SUNY Maritime College.

Harris, 68, became president of NASSCO in 2006. He had been senior vice president of programs at General Dynamics Electric Boat where he was responsible for the execution of all submarine design and construction programs. Harris joined the company in 1973 as a senior engineer on the Trident ballistic missile submarine program. He graduated from the Maine Maritime Academy in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering and holds a master’s degree in business administration from Babson College.

Mulligan, 50, became president of General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products in November 2006. He had joined Armament and Technical Products in July 2006 as the vice president of operations after 20 years at General Dynamics Electric Boat in a variety of capacities in the design, development and production of nuclear submarines. Mulligan holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Lowell, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master’s degree in business administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 90,000 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about the company is available at www.generaldynamics.com.

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