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Compensation dips for top shipyard exec, but for good reason

The man who helms America’s largest military shipbuilder received less compensation in 2016, largely because he gave up his salary to launch an educational assistance fund for employees’ children. Still, Huntington Ingalls President and CEO Mike Petters received $7.2 million last year. As in previous years, most of his direct compensation was tied to incentives that hinge on the company’s performance. HII on Wednesday filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission[1] its 2016 annual report and proxy statement, which contains data on top executive compensation and other financial information.

Petters announced last year that he wanted to defer his base salary instead earning only $1 to assist qualified employees with preschool or higher-education expenses for their children. It was based on his long-held stated belief that the U.S. must do more to prepare children for today’s workplace. Entering 2016, his salary totaled $986,000. The reduction to $1 didn’t happen until May 2, when the company’s board of directors met. So for all of 2016, Petters’ salary totaled about $329,000, documents show. His total compensation of $7.2 million for the year, which includes the aforementioned incentives, was down from $8.15 million in 2015.

Petters will continue to forgo his salary to build the educational fund. The board on March 1 approved his request to continue his base salary of $1, said HII spokeswoman Beci Brenton.

Base salaries stable

With two exceptions, 2016 base salaries for top HII executives did not increase from the previous year, documents show. As with Petters, much of their actual compensation is tied to stock awards and incentives under the company’s “pay-for-performance” strategy. For example, Matt Mulherin, president of the Newport News Shipbuilding[2] division, earned a base salary of $515,000. His total compensation was $2.3 million, up from $1.65 million in 2015, an increase that appears largely fueled by a change in pension valuation. Brian Cuccias and Chris Kastner were rewarded with salary increases.

Cuccias is president of Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. His salary increased from $442,000 in 2015 to about $515,000. That raise was based “on management recommendation and an analysis of market and peer company data conducted by our independent compensation consultant,” according to the proxy statement. His total compensation, with incentives, was $3.65 million, up from $2.76 million the year before. Kastner earned $475,000 in 2016 because he was named HII’s chief financial officer and executive vice president of business management. His 2015 figure was not listed.

Company performance

The company’s annual report lists several milestones for 2016. Even before President Donald Trump[3] announced plans to expand the Navy fleet, HII moved to invest $285 million in capital projects, most of that at its two shipbuilding divisions. At the Newport News shipyard, that investment went toward a 250,000-square-foot Joint Manufacturing Assembly facility.

The company’s operating margin, a measure of profitability, was 12.1 percent, up from 11 percent in 2015. Its business backlog at the end of 2016 totaled about $21 billion. The company expects about 30 percent of that to be converted into sales in 2017. The Newport News shipyard is the sole builder of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and teams with General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Conn., to build nuclear-powered submarines.

Ingalls Shipbuilding makes guided-missile destroyers and amphibious warships for the Navy and Coast Guard cutters.

HII employs about 37,000 across those two divisions and other units. It is the largest industrial employer in Virginia and largest private employer in Mississippi.

Lessig can be reached by phone at 757-247-7821.


  1. ^ U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (
  2. ^ Newport News Shipbuilding (
  3. ^ Donald Trump (

London Mayor Sadiq Khan commends ‘tremendous bravery’ of …

London Mayor Sadiq Kahn has responded to the shooting unfolding outside the UK Parliament in Westminster.

Mr Khan said: There has been a serious incident near to Parliament Square this afternoon which is being treated as a terrorist attack until the police know otherwise.

I have spoken to the Acting Commissioner. The Metropolitan Police Service is dealing with the incident and an urgent investigation is under way.

My thoughts are with those affected and their families.

I would like to express my thanks to the police and emergency services who work so hard to keep us safe and show tremendous bravery in exceptionally difficult circumstances.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan Commends 'tremendous Bravery' Of ...

London Mayor Sadiq Khan Commends 'tremendous Bravery' Of ...

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‘They will not succeed in dividing us’: Widower of murdered MP Jo Cox hits out at Westminster terror[1]

Earlier, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn[2] said: Reports suggest the ongoing incident in Westminster this afternoon is extremely serious.

Our thoughts are with the victims of this horrific attack, their families and friends.

The police and security staff have taken swift action to ensure the safety of the public, MPs and staff, and we are grateful to them.”


  1. ^ ‘They will not succeed in dividing us’: Widower of murdered MP Jo Cox hits out at Westminster terror (
  2. ^ Jeremy Corbyn (

Meet Five Lethal American Converts to Islam

John Georgelas, the Texas-born son of a U.S. Air Force doctor and grandson of a World War II veteran, now calls himself Yahya Abu Hassan[1]. He has reportedly[2] just become one of the top leaders of the Islamic State (ISIS). Georgelas is not by any means the only convert to Islam to have gotten the idea that his new religion, though touted as peaceful by almost all American authorities, actually commands him to commit treason and mass murder. Those authorities remain resolutely uncurious as to why so many converts to Islam seem to ignore the peaceful teachings of the Qur an that are so patently obvious to learned imams such as Pope Francis, John Kerry, and George W. Bush. Those peaceful teachings also elude Joshua Cummings, another convert to Islam. On January 30, he murdered Denver Regional Transportation District security guard Scott Von Lanken. Cummings explained:

I give my bay ah (pledge) to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and I am committed to being a soldier for the Islamic State. [However,] on the night in question, what I did do, I didn t do that for the Islamic State. I did that purely and solely for the pleasure of Allah.

He didn t explain where he got the idea that Allah would be pleased by the murder of a Denver security guard. Perhaps he was inspired by the Qur an s exhortations regarding unbelievers: [K]ill them wherever you find them (2:191, 4:89, and 9:5). Not long after that, a convert to Islam in Kansas City named Robert Lorenzo Hester, Jr. (who called himself Ali Talib Muhammad and Rami Talib) planned a jihad massacre on President s Day involving coordinated attacks on buses, trains, and a train station. He told contacts he thought were accomplices but who were actually FBI informants that President s Day was going to be a good day for Muslims worldwide and that it was good to help strike back at the true terrorist. U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri Tammy Dickinson said of Ali Talib Muhammad:

[He] believed he was part of an ISIS-sponsored terrorist attack that would result in the deaths and injuries of many innocent victims. While the plot was foiled, the questions remained: where did this convert learn about Islam? From whom? How many other American converts were taught by the same people? Where are they now? Generally media reports about jihad plotters tell us that they were radicalized on the Internet. These reports never explain why the supposedly peaceful Islam that these Muslims presumably learned at the local mosque was unable to withstand the appeal of the allegedly twisted and hijacked online version.

The same questions could be asked about 27-year-old Garrett Grimsley of Cary, North Carolina, who several weeks ago was charged[3] with threatening non-Muslims. In February, Grimsley posted a warning online: Don t go to Cary tomorrow.


  1. ^ calls himself Yahya Abu Hassan (
  2. ^ reportedly (
  3. ^ was charged (
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