Naval Group Australia appoints former Chief of the Australian Army as Independent Board Director

Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie to play a key role in guiding Naval Group Australia’s strategic direction.

Naval Group Australia, a subsidiary of French shipbuilding company Naval Group, has appointed the former Chief of the Australian Army, Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie AC, DSC, CSM, as Independent Board Director.

Lt Gen Gillespie, who commenced the role in June 2019, will play a pivotal role in the governance of Naval Group Australia. The Independent Director is charged with the effective oversight of Naval Group Australia and its strategy through his strong participation in Board and committee meetings, monitoring and addressing company risks, building strong partnerships and reviewing the company’s financial position. The role will also have a significant influence on the overview of the Future Submarine Program.

John Davis, Chief Executive Officer, Naval Group Australia said that prior to the appointment, Lt Gen Gillespie had shown excellence in strategic planning, engagement and implementation skills in demanding high command appointments.

“Lt Gen Gillespie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with him to Naval Group Australia and the Future Submarine Program, which, in partnership with the Commonwealth of Australia, will help ensure we deliver on our commitments to the Australian Government,” said Mr Davis.

Lt Gen Gillespie retired from the Australian Army in 2011 after 43 years of service. His military career started as a tradesman soldier and culminated with him commanding the Army – a 46,000 person organisation with an annual operating budget of approximately $6 billion.

Lt Gen Gillespie said there has never been a more important, or exciting time, to support the growth of Australia’s shipbuilding industry.

“Naval Group is implementing The Program of a lifetime; one that will span decades and keep our country safe and deliver sovereign capabilities,” said Lt Gen Gillespie.

“I am looking forward to working with the other Directors to provide strategic direction and effective oversight to an organisation that’s not only strengthening Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities, but delivering the protection our nation deserves by building a local industry and an Australian workforce for generations.”

Since his retirement, Lt Gen Gillespie has been an active board participant whose current roles include, Chair of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute Council, Airbus Group Asia Pacific, Senetas Corporation Limited, and the Anzac Research Institute. He is also a member of the Government Advisory Panel for International SOS and is a member of the Advisory Board for Veolia Australia and New Zealand.

Lt Gen Gillespie’s distinguished service and high order achievements in the armed forces saw him advance through the upper ranks and be awarded with prestigious international honours, including the Legion of Merit (Commander) from the United States of America and the Meritorious Service Medal (Military – Pingat Jasa Gemilang) from the Republic of Singapore.

L-R: Lt Gen Ken Gillespie, Paul O’Sullivan and David Peever