WASHINGTON — Fincantieri’s Marinette Marine announced a leadership change at the Wisconsin shipyard, with retired U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Vandroff set to take over as CEO in July.

Vandroff serves as the senior vice president of business development for corporate parent firm Fincantieri Marine Group and will transition to CEO of the shipyard on July 7.

Current shipyard CEO Jan Allman will remain in the position until July 7, when she will become senior vice president for public affairs and community relations at the Fincantieri Marine Group headquarters.

“Our company’s continued growth affords us the opportunity to expand our senior leadership team and to better organize to exceed our customer’s needs,” Fincantieri Marine Group President and CEO Dario Deste said in a statement.

“I want to thank Jan for her seven years of steady leadership at the helm in Marinette. During that time, she expertly managed our company’s relationship with our partner Lockheed Martin to produce Littoral Combat Ships for the Navy, started construction of similar vessels (MMSC) for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the U.S. foreign military sales effort, and perhaps more importantly, she played a prominent role in securing the Constellation Class frigate contract for FMM, which will be a lasting tribute to the men and women in the shipyard for generations,” Deste added.

Vandroff joined Fincantieri in February, after serving as the deputy assistant to the president and senior director for defense policy on the Trump administration’s National Security Council.

Vandroff retired from the Navy in 2019, capping off a 30-year career by commanding the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Carderock Division research center in Maryland. The 1989 U.S. Naval Academy graduate led the Arleigh Burke destroyer program office from 2011 to 2016. That was a pivotal time for the program, as it was restarting production after a yearslong pause.

He held several other positions within the Program Executive Office Ships, and directed the surface combatants program for the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, giving him years of hands-on experience with small surface combatant programs and the service as a whole.

The Marinette Marine shipyard is currently building its final littoral combat ships and is conducting early work on the Constellation-class frigate program. It won the FFG(X) competition in April 2020 and will build one frigate each year, eventually ramping up to two per year as the Navy builds out its fleet of small combatants to serve as a centerpiece of its new Distributed Maritime Operations concept.

Fincantieri stated it is working on the detailed design phase of building the lead ship Constellation, with construction set to start at the end of this year. The company is expected to deliver the ship in 2026.

Megan Eckstein is the naval warfare reporter at Defense News. She has covered military news since 2009, with a focus on U.S. Navy and Marine Corps operations, acquisition programs, and budgets. She has reported from four geographic fleets and is happiest when she’s filing stories from a ship. Megan is a University of Maryland alumna.

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