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Charlotte-based Babcock & Wilcox names new CEO in latest shake-up

Charlotte-based Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises has named a new CEO in the latest shake-up at the industrial conglomerate
Charlotte-based Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises has named a new CEO in the latest shake-up at the industrial conglomerate

Charlotte-based Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises has named a new CEO in the latest shake-up at the industrial conglomerate.

The company said Wednesday that its board had appointed Leslie Kass to replace Jim Ferland, effective immediately. Ferland will assist with the transition and serve as executive chairman until June 30. He is expected to leave the board at that time, but the company said it anticipates the CEO and chairman roles will continue to remain separate.

Kass, 47, has been at the company since 2013 and most recently served as senior vice president for industrial. Before Babcock & Wilcox, she worked at Westinghouse Electric, Entergy and Duke Energy.

In 2015, Babcock & Wilcox Co. spun off its power-generation business to become Charlotte-based Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, which provides energy and environmental services to power and industrial customers. The rest of the company became BWX Technologies, based in Virginia.

Since the spin-off, B&W Enterprises has seen its shares plunge as the company faces a series of challenges, including losses in its renewable energy business. Last year, an activist investor took a stake in B&W as part of a push for cost-cutting and other changes.

In November, the company said it was cutting its global workforce by 9 percent and exploring “strategic alternatives” for two of its business lines. In January, the company entered an agreement with certain investors to add three new directors.

Rick Rothacker: 704-358-5170, @rickrothacker

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