Bath Iron Works president to leave shipyard at year's end

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BATH — Bath Iron Works will greet the new year with a new president, parent company General Dynamics announced Monday.

Fred Harris, president of BIW and General Dynamics NASSCO, which is based in San Diego, will retire after three years in the position. Dirk Lesko, who has served as vice president of surface combatants and managing all programs, has been elected a vice president of the corporation and named president of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works.

Kevin Graney, who became vice president and general manager of NASSCO in 2013, has also been elected a vice president of the corporation, and president of General Dynamics NASSCO.

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, praised Lesko’s selection in a joint statement Monday.

“We have both worked with Dirk very closely over the years and are confident that his depth of experience, proven track record, and longstanding commitment to the yard will make him good leader who will work well with the talented and skilled employees at BIW,” they said. “We look forward to continuing to work with him in his new capacity to help position the shipyard for success in the future.”

The senators also thanked Harris “for his years of dedicated service to Bath and wish him well as he enters retirement this January.”

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, in a statement Monday said it’s important that this be a quick and smooth transition.

“I am glad to see that General Dynamics has looked internally to hire Dirk Lesko as the new president,” Pingree said. “I have had the chance to work closely with Dirk during my time in Congress and feel that his time at the yard and his commitment to Bath make him the right person to take over for Fred Harris. I look forward to working with him in his new role.”

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.