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General Dynamics changes leadership at shipyards

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Dynamics Corp on Wednesday announced leadership changes at its shipyards that it said would help the company reduce costs and better serve its main customer, the U.S. Navy.

The company said Jeffrey Geiger, president of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, the company's Maine shipyard, would take over as president of General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard in Connecticut, effective November 4, following the retirement of Kevin Poitras after 40 years with the company.

Frederick Harris, president of the company's NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, would remain in his current role but also take on the top job at Bath Iron Works, General Dynamics said.

John Casey, executive vice president of marine systems for General Dynamics, said the transition presented an opportunity for the company to "ensure we are capturing all possible efficiencies as we support our primary customer, the U.S. Navy."

In a statement, Casey said Harris had found creative ways to lower costs on surface vessels at NASSCO, and would now look for ways to "gain additional efficiencies across these already high-performance organizations."

Navy officials are pressing industry to find ways to lower the cost of weapons systems, given mounting pressures on U.S. military budgets. Under current law, the Pentagon must reduce its planned spending by nearly $1 trillion over the next decade.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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