LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Braidy Industries named an acting president and CEO on Wednesday, a move the company said will “accelerate plans to build the world’s most technologically advanced aluminum rolling mill” outside Ashland, Ky.

Metals industry veteran Don Foster will continue his role as CEO of BridgeConsulting LLC while leading Ashland-based Braidy Industries, the company said. Braidy Industries contracted with Foster’s company earlier this year.

“Braidy Industries is the future of aluminum, and there is no one better to lead the team than an experienced professional like Don Foster,” said Braidy Industries Chairman Charles Price, a Louisville businessman, in a press release. “Don has more than 40 years in the industry and is a proven, successful metals executive with a history of profitable business development and large project experience.”

The company cleared the way for Foster’s hire by agreeing to pay former CEO and company founder Craig Bouchard $6 million to cut all ties with Braidy Industries. The Price-led board fired Bouchard in January, saying he wasn’t making progress in raising funding for the $1.7 billion construction project.

Kentucky invested $15 million in public money in Braidy Industries in 2017 under former Gov. Matt Bevin. Last week Gov. Andy Beshear said he would ensure that the state gets its money back if the plant is not built.

“The business case for this project is strong, and I’m honored to be a part of it,” Foster said in the news release. “Braidy’s state-of-the-art mill is being engineered with proven, world class technology and our team of motivated aluminum experts are going to get it built. It is essential to the North American automotive industry supply chain and vital to the economy of Eastern Kentucky.”

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.