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Former BIW president Dirk Lesko appointed president of Irving Shipbuilding

Irving Shipbuilding is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and is a partner in the National Shipbuilding Strategy with the Canadian government.

PORTLAND, Maine — (The above video aired on April 11, 2022, when the resignation of Dirk Lesko from Bath Iron Works was announced.)

Dirk Lesko, the former president of Bath Iron Works who resigned from the position in April this year, has been named president of Irving Shipbuilding. 

Irving Shipbuilding is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and is a partner in the National Shipbuilding Strategy with the Canadian government. According to their website, Irving Shipbuilding was "selected through the competitive and transparent NSS to construct Canada's future naval combatant fleet." 

Lesko will begin in the role starting Sept. 1, 2022, according to a news release issued Tuesday.

"[Lesko] brings extensive experience in military shipbuilding, which will continue to enhance Irving Shipbuilding as Canada's Combatant Shipbuilder," Jim Irving, co-CEO of J.D. Irving, Ltd., said in the release.  

Lesko's abruptly resigned as president of BIW on April 7. 

Citing industry sources, industry analyst Loren Thompson, CEO of The Lexington Institute in Arlington, Virginia, and a frequent contributor to Forbes about the defense industry, told NEWS CENTER Maine in April that Lesko's resignation "had nothing to do with performance or personal behavior."

"Dirk violated corporate policy, a specific rule, and that was deemed sufficient for a parting of the ways," he said, declining to comment further.

A memo issued to employees on April 7 said only that Robert E. Smith, executive vice president of BIW parent company General Dynamics, had "assumed direct responsibility" for the shipyard until a permanent replacement was chosen.  

Lesko stepped into the role as president of BIW in November 2016 and previously served as general manager. He worked at BIW for more than 30 years. 

According to a previous report from NEWS CENTER Maine, BIW continues construction on the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers the future USS Carl M. Levin (DDG 120), John Basilone (DDG 122), Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG 124), Patrick Gallagher (DDG 127), Louis H. Wilson Jr. (DDG 126), and William Charette (DDG 130).

With the Navy planning another multi-year purchase of DDG 51s, built only by BIW and Ingalls Shipbuilding, more ships are likely headed to Bath.

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