William Agee, former chairman and executive officer of the Bendix Corp., was named chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Morrison Knudsen Corp. Friday.Agee, 50, replaced William Deasy, 51, who will continue as president of the Boise-based construction, engineering and ship-building company with annual revenues of some $2 billion. Deasy will also return to the job of chief operating officer, a position he held before being elevated to chief executive officer.

Agee has been on Morrison Knudsen's board for 11 years, and before that he was chief financial officer and senior vice president of Boise Cascade Corp., also based in Boise.

The management shakeup, effective immediately, followed the corporation's second-quarter report showing a $53.3 million loss, blamed mainly on the divestiture of its real estate development segment and poor performance in the ship-building operation.

In recent weeks, the company has also come under federal review for its operations at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama and the Army's Fort Drum complex in New York state. Federal investigators told a congressional committee last month that the Redstone Arsenal probe involved alleged contract fraud.

Corporate officials said the change was made to take advantage of Deasy's superb operating skills.