Western Australia
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David Singleton, Chief Executive Officer
Austal’s Journey to Being the Only Foreign Prime Contractor Building Warships for the US Navy
12:00PM - 2:00PM
Crown Perth Limited
Great Eastern Highway
Event Partner:  C.H. Robinson
Category:  Business Briefing
Austal is the only foreign shipbuilder, since the American War of Independence, to build warships as a Prime contractor for the US Navy. Considering the company’s humble beginnings only 28 years ago, building high speed commercial ferries for China, this achievement is even more remarkable. Today, Austal is Australia’s only ASX-listed shipbuilder, the world’s largest aluminium shipbuilder and an internationally competitive, award-winning exporter, with over 75% of all vessel deliveries to overseas markets. The company’s success is based on the continuous development of its innovative people, products and processes with an unbridled determination to succeed. Austal is preparing for an exciting period of growth as the company plays a key role in Australia’s continuous naval shipbuilding program – which will see the greatest number of ships constructed since the second world war. This is a rare and fascinating story of Australian design, engineering and manufacturing success.

David Singleton (B.Sc) was appointed Austal’s Chief Executive Officer in April 2016, following four years as a Non-Executive Director of the company.
As a member of the Austal Board, David drew upon his highly relevant defence industry experience and business expertise to proactively contribute to the company’s growth since 2011.

David has held numerous senior roles with BAE Systems, one of the world’s largest defence companies, including Group Head of Strategy and Mergers & Acquisitions in London from 1997 to 1998 and again in 2003.

In the intervening years, David was the Chief Executive Officer of Alenia Marconi Systems (AMS); a joint venture between BAE Systems and Finmeccanica that had turnover of circa Euro1.4 billion and employed 7,500 people across the UK, Italy, the USA and Germany. AMS was a European leader of naval warfare and air defence systems, C4I, ground and naval radars, naval command and control training systems and long term naval support.

With an Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from University College London, David started his career with the UK Ministry of Defence and worked in research, development and manufacturing as well as senior management roles in Royal Ordnance, which was eventually sold to BAE. He has also served as a member of the National Defence Industries Council in the UK, and as a Board member and Vice President (Defence) of Intellect, a leading trade association for the UK technology industry.

Most recently, David was the CEO and Managing Director of Perth-based mining company Poseidon Nickel Limited. Prior to this role, he served as CEO and Managing Director of Clough Limited between 2003 and 2007.
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