NNS announces senior leadership changes
Promotions result from upcoming retirements at shipbuilder
Newport News Shipbuilding is promoting three employees to its senior leadership team, as well as restructuring programs as the company plans for upcoming retirements.
Rob Check will become vice president of in-service aircraft carrier programs; Thomasina Wright will assume the role of vice president of fleet support programs, and Les Smith will take over as vice president of the Enterprise and Doris Miller aircraft carrier programs, NNS announced Wednesday. The shipbuilder is a division of Newport News-based Fortune 500 contractor Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc.
Check replaces Todd West, who is retiring as vice president of the in-service aircraft carrier program. Check has previously worked in the submarine and aircraft carrier construction programs and most recently served as program director for the Virginia-class submarine program. Check has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University.
Wright will become vice president of fleet support programs, succeeding Gary Fuller, who is also retiring. Wright most recently served as program director for the USS John C. Stennis vessel’s refueling and complex overhaul. Wright is a graduate of Newport News Shipbuilding’s Apprentice School and has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Old Dominion University and an MBA from William & Mary.
Smith has experience with the Virginia-class submarine and Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier programs and most recently served as program director for the future aircraft carriers Enterprise and Doris Miller. He has a bachelor’s degree in building construction from Virginia Tech.
Shipyard President Jennifer Boykin also on Wednesday announced additional senior leadership team changes as part of a restructuring resulting from the upcoming retirement of Ron Murray, the shipbuilder’s vice president of quality. Julia Jones, vice president of manufacturing, will succeed Murray as vice president of quality, and Brian Fields, who is currently vice president of the Enterprise and Doris Miller aircraft carrier programs, will take over as vice president of manufacturing.
“To fill these critical roles, I am selecting leaders who embody the values of learning and continuous improvement and are committed to strengthening our operating system,” Boykin said in a statement. “Purposeful development of our leadership pipeline has always been core to NNS, and these leaders reflect this commitment.”
The promotions will take effect July 1.
“These three leaders began their careers in the 1980s, when shipbuilding and hiring was at an all-time high,” Boykin said, referring to the impending retirements of Fuller, West and Murray. “Their 113 years of combined shipyard experiences, knowledge and dedication leave a lasting impact on our team and business.
Newport News Shipbuilding is the nation’s largest builder of military ships and one of only two builders of nuclear submarines in the United States.