Fincantieri’s Marinette Marine announced on June 11 its board of directors chose former Navy Capt. Mark Vandroff to become the Wisconsin shipyard’s next CEO.

Vandroff is set to take over effective July 7, succeeding Jan Allman, who has led the shipyard since 2014.

Vandroff served over 30 years in the Navy, becoming commanding officer of the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock, Md. and was the service’s DDG-51 class destroyer program manager from 2011 to 2016 (Defense Daily, April 29, 2016).

After serving in the Navy, Vandroff worked in industry as vice president of maritime programs for Zenetex, LCC then joined the Trump administration as deputy assistant to the president and senior director for defense policy at the National Security Council. He resigned from the administration on January 7 and earlier this year joined Marinette’s parent company, Fincantieri Marine Group, as senior vice president of business development.

“Our company’s continued growth afforded us an opportunity to expand our senior leadership team and to better organize to exceed our customer’s needs. Jan [Allman] has done a tremendous job working with partner Lockheed Martin and the Navy on the Littoral Combat Ship and Multi-mission Surface Combatant programs, as well as helping our company secure the FFG contract,” Dario Deste, CEO of Fincantieri Marine Group, said in a statement.

The company noted Allman “accepted a promotion” and will now serve as Fincantieri Marine Group’s senior vice president of public affairs and community relations in its Green Bay, Wisc. office.

“Mark has an opportunity of a lifetime to lead the FMM team during an exciting time as we build the Navy’s Constellation Class frigate, a vital part of tomorrow’s Fleet,” Gary Roughead, retired Navy Chief of Naval Operations and current chairman of the Marinette board, said.

The shipyard in Marinette is currently finishing construction on the final odd-numbered Freedom-variant littoral combat ships under prime contractor Lockheed Martin [LMT].

Vandroff joins the firm after the Navy awarded Marinette Marine a $554 million modification for the detail design and construction of the second Constellation-class (FFG-62) frigate in May, which the shipyard will focus on over the rest of this decade (Defense Daily, May 21). 

The Navy previously planned to ramp up production to two frigates per year. The service is set to procure up to 10 new frigates in this initial batch, although the total number may eventually reach over 20 total ships as part of the Navy’s small combatant force.