Huntington Ingalls Industries announces leadership changes

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Huntington Ingalls Industries announced several leadership changes at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division.

Lucas Hicks has been promoted to vice president of construction for the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), and Charles Southall has been promoted to vice president of engineering and design. Southall succeeds Jennifer Boykin, who previously served in the role before being named president of Newport News Shipbuilding.

Mike Shawcross, who currently serves as Newport News’ vice president, CVN 79 and CVN 80 (Enterprise) aircraft carrier construction, will lead the Enterprise and CVN 81 programs. The changes are effective July 1.

Southall and Shawcross will report to Boykin; Hicks will report to Ken Mahler, Newport News’ vice president, Navy programs.

“Lucas, Charles and Mike will play instrumental roles as we work together to transform our business,” Boykin said. “Their knowledge and expertise position us well for positive growth and progress of our shipbuilding programs, and they are committed to creating an environment where our shipbuilders can harness their talents, skills and ideas for future success and innovation.”

Hicks will be responsible for program management, planning and construction forJohn F. Kennedy. A 26-year shipbuilding veteran, Hicks most recently served as Newport News’ facilities director. He began his career in submarine engineering and held leadership positions in the sealift conversion program and new carrier construction, where he was responsible for the construction and integration of the machinery systems and components on Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).

Southall will be responsible for all ship design, planning yard and topside construction, as well as test engineering. He joined the shipyard in 1988 as an engineer in the submarine program and served as director of submarine engineering. In his most recent position as Newport News’ chief engineer, Southall led engineering efforts across all Navy programs and established Newport News’Columbia-class submarine program office.

Shawcross, who has served in senior leadership positions in the Gerald R. Fordprogram since the lead ship was designed, will lead the Enterprise and CVN 81 programs. In this role, the nearly 37-year shipyard veteran will focus on contracting for Enterprise construction and future ships and on establishing build plans, material procurement efforts and early construction.

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