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Austal USA president resigns; replaced by VP

A major change in leadership for corporate giant Austal USA took place Wednesday.

Company President Rusty Murdaugh resigned and was quickly replaced by Michelle Kruger, vice president of global services and support, who is now acting president until the position is filled.

Austal USA released a statement that noted Murdaugh’s contributions to the company following the change of leadership

“Under his leadership, Austal USA completed the addition of steel shipbuilding capability to the Mobile shipyard, opening the most modern steel shipbuilding facility in the industry,” the statement read. “Austal USA also opened a waterfront ship repair facility in San Diego, greatly expanding the company’s repair business, and acquired property in Mobile that will facilitate the continued expansion of the Mobile shipyard.”

Paddy Gregg, CEO of Australia-based parent company Austal Limited, also spoke highly of the former president.

“Rusty made a lasting impact on the company,” he said in a statement. “The transformation and growth of Austal USA under his leadership has postured the company for the future with a diversified and balanced portfolio. Rusty is leaving Austal USA with unlimited growth potential and we thank him for all his hard work and dedication over the last two years.”

There is speculation as to what may have caused the resignation. However, Austal USA share prices recently dropped rapidly and the company stopped trading for a short time after announcing the possibility for a significant loss on towing, salvage and rescue ships (T-ATS) for the U.S. Navy, the first project on Mobile’s steel shipbuilding line.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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