• Podcasts

    at Wärtsilä in the USA

Matthew Zirkle joins Wärtsilä Defense, Inc.

Wärtsilä North America, Inc., Local press release 3 September 2020 at 16:00 UTC+2

Wärtsilä North America, Inc., Press release, 3 September 2020 at 8:00 AM CDT

Matthew Zirkle has been appointed president of Wärtsilä Defense, Inc., effective August 17, 2020.  He is located at the company’s headquarters in Chesapeake, Virginia.  In his role, Zirkle brings deep experience of leading innovation and market development to the full range of maritime solutions provided by Wärtsilä to the United States defense sector.

“We are very pleased to have the expertise and cutting-edge insight that Matt adds to our team. His approach to identifying opportunities and laser focus on transformational leadership will enhance Wärtsilä Defense’s support to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and other U.S. military services and agencies”, Rob Burford, Vice President, Wärtsilä Shaft Line Solutions.

As a Rear Admiral (Upper Half) in the U.S. Navy Reserve, Zirkle has held many diverse leadership roles in the U.S. Navy.  He is a graduate of the Navy’s nuclear power school, a qualified submarine warfare officer, nuclear engineer officer and obtained joint qualified officer status as a flag officer.  His most recent active duty experiences include serving as chief of staff for U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa and the U.S. SIXTH Fleet, director of innovation for the U.S. Navy Reserve, and commander of NATO’s submarine forces.

In his roles as a civilian business leader, Zirkle has also had an impressive career in marketing, sales and general management.  He has helped drive product development and innovation in both the consumer and commercial goods market segments.

“I am truly honored and excited to join the Wärtsilä Defense team in providing the best possible new construction, maintenance and repair solutions for our nation’s maritime services.  In an era of Great Power Competition, now more than ever our military industrial base needs to maintain the highest level of mission capability and readiness to respond to our nation’s call for security at sea across the globe.”

Zirkle holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of California at San Diego and master of business administration with honors from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.  He was recently recognized by the National Eagle Scout Association with the Outstanding Eagle Scout Award for numerous contributions to his profession and the community.  For his military service, Zirkle has been awarded the Navy’s Distinguished Service Medal.

Media contact(s) for more information on this release:


Rob Burford
Vice President, Shaft Line Solutions
Tel: +44 2392 391534

Amy Bricker
Communications Manager, Americas
Tel: +1 832 331 3312


Image caption: Matthew Zirkle, President, Wärtsilä Defense, Inc.


About Wärtsilä Defense, Inc.

For more than 35 years, Wärtsilä Defense, Inc. (WDI) has provided innovative propulsion and power solutions to the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.  With locations in Chesapeake, Virginia, Poulsbo, Washington, and Chula Vista, California, WDI provides shaft line systems, seals and bearings, propeller repairs, water jets, and field service repairs to the nation’s maritime services. www.wartsila.com/navy