17/05/2021 - 11:00

New position for David Singleton

17/05/2021 - 11:00

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Former Austal boss David Singleton has taken on a new leadership role at Austin Engineering, which is relocating its headquarters to Perth.

David Singleton will assume the role of interim chief executive of Austin Engineering on August 1. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Former Austal boss David Singleton has taken on a new leadership role at Austin Engineering, which is relocating its headquarters to Perth.

Mr Singleton, a non-executive director of the company, will assume the role of acting chief executive from August 1, following the resignation of Peter Forsyth, announced today.

Austin also said it would be relocating its Brisbane headquarters to Kewdale.

The company said the move recognised the significance of its Western Australian and Asian operations, which are the largest contributors to its overall profit, and placed its senior staff closer to a number of Austin’s major Perth-based customers.

Its directors include Mr Singelton, who led local shipbuilder Austal as managing director for nine years; Chris Indermaur, also an Austal director; and Sybrandt Van Dyk, the chief executive of listed drilling business DDH1.

The relocation to Perth would also deliver cost savings, Austin said.

Chairman Jim Walker, also the non-executive chairman of recently listed mining services provider MLG Oz, thanked Mr Forsyth for his contribution to the business.

“Peter has made an outstanding contribution to Austin, providing great leadership through what has been a challenging period for the company, and he leaves the company well positioned for growth going forward,” Mr Walker said.

“Under his tenure, the company comprehensively resolved well recognised balance sheet issues, and recommenced paying dividends.

“Peter has also been a steady hand to lead the company through the initial very uncertain period of the COVID-19 pandemic, which did have a significant impact on our overseas operations.”

Mr Forsyth led Austin for more than four years.

Meanwhile, Mr Singleton, also the chairman of local aerial imaging company Soar.Earth, will lead a strategic review to identify further growth opportunities for Austin.

Details of his remuneration will be revealed on or before his commencement as interim chief executive.

Austin said the board has begun its search for a permanent CEO. It has kept its full-year net profit guidance of more than $9 million.

Its shares were up 4 per cent at 1:39pm AEST on Monday, to trade at 13 cents.

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