The top salesman at Boeing Commercial Airplanes will retire at the end of the year, Boeing announced Thursday. Larry Dickenson, 64, has...

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The top salesman at Boeing Commercial Airplanes will retire at the end of the year, Boeing announced Thursday.

Larry Dickenson, 64, has worked at Boeing 39 years, almost a quarter-century of that on the sales team. He was appointed head of the commercial-jet sales organization in October 2006, replacing Scott Carson, who was promoted to chief executive of the commercial-airplanes division.

Boeing has notched two successive years of record sales and looks set for a third.

Its wide-body sales took off almost immediately after Carson’s appointment as sales chief, partly a result of changes under way before he took over.

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That sales surge continued unabated under Dickenson. Boeing finally regained the sales lead last year, when it sold more planes than Airbus for the first time since 2000.

Dickenson’s replacement is Ray Conner, 52, in charge of the sales team for the Americas since 2003.

For more than two decades, Dickenson led Boeing’s sales team for the Asia/Pacific region, responsible for sales operations in China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and other markets in the region.

Famed for his networking skills and his passion for golf, Dickenson built relationships with airline executives throughout Asia.

Conner, his successor, has experience that goes well beyond sales. He joined Boeing in 1977 as a mechanic on the 727 program. He had stints as vice president and general manager of both the 777 and 747 programs, managing the design, development, certification and production of the airplanes.

As head of the Propulsion Systems Division, he led the development of engine systems and auxiliary power units for the entire Boeing jet family.

Additionally, he held several positions in the Materiel Division of Commercial Airplanes, which manages the supply chain.

But he also is a veteran in jet sales to the burgeoning Asia market, expected to grow into the most important aviation-sales region. Asia is expected to take 29 percent of all jet deliveries through 2025 and 36 percent of the market by value.

Like Dickenson, Conner previously led the Asia/Pacific sales organization and was responsible for the operation of Boeing offices in China, Japan and South Korea.

“His leadership of two of our key airplane programs, coupled with his extensive experience in building meaningful relationships with our airline customers, will help us remain focused on meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations,” Carson said in a statement.

Conner holds a bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University and a master’s in business administration from the University of Puget Sound.

Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or dgates@seattletimes.com