BAE Systems has confirmed that Glynn Phillips has been appointed as chief executive officer of its Australian business, replacing David Allott.
Phillips joined BAE Systems Australia in January as the finance director, and had been working as the acting chief executive since April. He has held senior executive roles within the wider company, including working as group financial controller and finance director for the Maritime Sector in the UK.
Guy Griffiths, group managing director international, said in a statement provided to Australian Defence Business Review that Phillips has managed a number of significant change-management activities and is therefore well placed to lead BAE Systems Australia through the business review that is currently being undertaken.
In addition, David Bond, who is currently the managing director of Combat Vehicles in the UK, has been named as chief operating officer for the Australian business.
Allott has a new role working with the global commercial and procurement team based in the UK. He had been chief executive of BAE Systems Australia since September 2011.
The leadership change comes at a difficult time for BAE Systems, which announced a further reduction in the workforce at its Williamstown shipyard in Melbourne on August 12.
The company said in a separate statement that the loss of an additional 125 positions will take effect in September or October, explaining that the job cuts are the result of a continuing decline in work as current projects near completion.
Since October last year, following the delivery of the first Canberra class amphibious assault ship HMAS Canberra, the shipbuilding workforce at Williamstown has lost almost 500 personnel. This latest announcement brings total reductions to about 600 people.
“[The] announcement is necessary because we are a project-based business, and our employee numbers must match the needs and status of our ongoing and upcoming projects,” said Bill Saltzer, director of Maritime at BAE Systems Australia.
Current naval shipbuilding work being undertaken at Williamstown includes the second amphibious assault ship NUSHIP Adelaide and hull modules or blocks for the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) program.
NUSHIP Adelaide will embark on its final period of sea trials next week in preparation for delivery. Meanwhile, the company is due to complete building AWD blocks by early next year; at that point, all naval shipbuilding activity will cease.
The federal government has expressed disappointment at the news that BAE Systems intends to further reduce the workforce at its Williamstown shipyard.
Minister for Defence Kevin Andrews was quick to point out that the government understands that the company’s position is that the shipbuilding job losses are not a result of or influenced by recent announcements made by the government.