New chief executive and chairman, Dennis Muilenburg, announced Friday a major reorganization in Boeing’s executive ranks.
Boeing’s new chief executive and chairman, Dennis Muilenburg, announced Friday a major reorganization in the company’s executive ranks.
In the local Commercial Airplanes division, new leaders will take over responsibility for three key slots: airplane manufacturing, new airplane development, and engineering.
Two of those promoted in the re-shuffle, Mike Delaney and Greg Hyslop, are engineering leaders who became highly unpopular with many local employees when they transfered thousands of jobs out of the Puget Sound region.
All the changes in the re-organization flow from the creation of four newly created roles that elevate Hyslop, Scott Fancher, Pat Shanahan and Ted Colbert to enterprise-wide executive positions effective April 4.
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Delaney then replaces Fancher in a top local executive role.
All four of the new enterprise-wide appointees will serve on Boeing’s executive council, the top leadership of the company advising Muilenburg.
Placing Fancher and Shanahan on the council along with Commercial Airplanes chief Ray Conner makes three members out of 14 executives with deep experience of operations on the commercial side of Boeing’s business.
All four will report to Muilenburg as part of the “One Boeing” strategy that attempts to bind together more tightly the disparate divisions of the company.
“These moves are the natural next steps to build on our core strengths and talent,” Muilenburg said in a statement.
Local executive changes
The changes mean two well known local leaders are leaving the Commercial Airplanes division.
Senior vice president Scott Fancher, 57, who has overseen all new airplane development programs — 737 MAX, 777X, 787-10 and KC-46 tanker — moves to Chicago to oversee development programs companywide, encompassing defense and space technologies as well as commercial jets.
And senior vice president Pat Shanahan, 53, who heads up commercial airplane manufacturing at Boeing’s major final assembly sites in Everett, Renton and North Charleston, S.C., will now oversee supply chain management and manufacturing operations for the whole company.
He’ll be based in Bellevue. Boeing spokesman John Dern said Shanahan remains in the Puget Sound region because this is where “a substantial amount of supply chain and manufacturing management” for the company must be overseen.
Fancher will be replaced locally as head of new airplane development by Mike Delaney, 53, currently vice president of engineering for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Delaney’s relationship with local Boeing engineers, and with their union — the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) — grew testy after he led moves to transfer nearly 4,000 commercial airplane engineering jobs out of the Puget Sound region to other Boeing sites, starting in 2013.
The signing of a new six-year contract with SPEEA last month marked a new detente between management and the union. That may give some breathing room to Delaney’s replacement as the new local head of engineering, vice president John Hamilton, 54.
Hamilton was previously chief project engineer on the 737 and more recently headed safety and security at Commercial Airplanes.
Shanahan’s replacement will be announced later.
Mishandled job transfers
The remaining two top-level executive appointments go to Ted Colbert and Greg Hyslop.
Colbert, Boeing’s chief information officer, will also lead a company initiative on information and data analytics. He is based in Washington, D.C.
Hyslop, who oversees Boeing Research & Technology (BR&T), is given responsibility for engineering companywide, based in Chicago.
It was Hyslop who in 2013 led a major transfer of about 1,000 BR&T jobs from the Puget Sound area to new engineering centers in Alabama, California, Missouri and South Carolina.
In an interview with the Seattle Times last year, even Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief Ray Conner agreed that particular work transfer was very badly handled on a human level, with engineers and their families left in limbo for months, not knowing if they would have a job.
In a press release, Boeing said the four new enterprise-wide executive roles will provide “increased emphasis and attention on capabilities deemed critical to ensuring Boeing’s competitive edge.”
The four new top executive leaders will divide between them the functions previously assigned to Boeing chief technology officer John Tracy, 61, who Boeing said will retire in July after 35 years at the company.