Boeing is shaking up its defense business, compressing eight divisions into four in the first big organizational change mapped by Ted Colbert, the division’s new chief.
The moves are intended to streamline senior leadership roles, shore up operational discipline and put the division “on the path to stronger, profitable growth,” Colbert said in a statement Thursday.
As part of the overhaul, Jim Chilton will leave his post as senior vice president for Space and Launch in February to become a senior adviser to Colbert on future space ventures. Kay Sears will lead the newly created Space, Intelligence & Weapon Systems unit, which will span the company’s space exploration and launch programs, missiles, Phantom Works Space and subsidiaries like Liquid Robotics.
- Mobility, Surveillance & Bombers will be led by Dan Gillian, a Boeing vice president and general manager. It will span commercial aircraft modified for military uses, like the KC-46 tanker, P-8 submarine hunter and VC-25B presidential aircraft.
- Air Dominance is led by Steve Nordlund, who will also become the senior executive for Boeing’s St. Louis military manufacturing hub. It includes the F/A-18 and F-15 fighters, classified programs, T-7 trainer and non-space Phantom Works portfolio.
- Retiring from Boeing: Tim Peters, who led the Mobility and Surveillance unit, and Cindy Gruensfelder, who oversaw Missile and Weapon Systems
The defense business has dragged on Boeing’s finances this year, racking up billions of dollars of cost overruns on fixed price-contracts from the Air Force One presidential aircraft to the commercial crew capsule for NASA. The division is the only Boeing business expected to burn rather than generate cash next year, with an outflow projected between $500 million and $1 billion, the company told investors earlier this month.
Boeing is expecting “minimal” job cuts beyond the high-level departures announced Thursday, a spokeswoman said. The company also appointed Steve Parker as the division’s chief operating officer, a newly created role that was announced internally in recent weeks.