Austal USA names Rusty Murdaugh president

By Aidan Quigley / September 16, 2021 at 10:23 AM

Austal USA has selected Rusty Murdaugh, the company's chief financial officer and acting president since February, to lead the company permanently.

Austal USA announced Wednesday that its board of directors had selected Murdaugh as president effective Sept. 9.

The company is in the midst of a $110 million shipyard construction project that includes building a steel production line. Austal is positioning itself to compete for the Marine Corps' Light Amphibious Warship and Navy's follow-on shipyard contract for the FFG(X) frigate program.

Murdaugh replaced Craig Perciavalle, who resigned in February following an internal investigation into the company's Littoral Combat Ship program.

The investigation looked at three issues also being investigated by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission: "the write back of work in progress (WIP) attributable to the LCS program in July 2016, the procurement of certain ship components for use in connection with U.S. government contracts and charging and allocation of labor hours," the company said in a press release.

Austal stated it believes the July 2016 WIP appropriately adjusted sales and profit after the estimated cost to complete the remaining LCS vessels.

However, the company acknowledged some LCS valves did not meet the required specifications at the time of the procurement, and identified a misallocation of labor hours between vessels in the early stages of the program. The company asserted the total labor hours for the program were accurate.

Perciavalle had worked as Austal USA president since December 2012.