Raymond L. Conner, a 34-year Boeing veteran who began as an airplane mechanic, has been named chief executive officer of the company's Commercial Airplanes division, replacing retiring CEO James. F. Albaugh.
Conner, 57, moves to the leadership post from senior vice president for sales and customer support. Albaugh, 62, has announced he will retire from the company Oct. 1 after 37 years of service.
"Ray's breadth and depth of experience in commercial airplanes is unmatched in our industry," Boeing Chairman and CEO Jim McNerney said in a press release. "He has built airplanes, sold airplanes, serviced airplanes, managed our largest programs, knows our customers extremely well, and is respected by our employees. He is the natural next leader of our growing commercial airplanes business and this move is consistent with our executive succession plan."
Before leading global sales and customer support, Conner served as vice president of supply chain management and operations, where he was responsible for business conducted with thousands of global suppliers, as well as the performance of the company's in-house manufacturing, quality, fabrication and propulsion systems divisions. The assignment included overseeing development of Boeing's new production and assembly facilities in South Carolina.
Among many other leadership roles held during his career, Conner also served as vice president and general manager of the 777 and 747 programs, and vice president of sales for the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions. Last year, he played a lead role in negotiating a landmark, four-year contract extension with Boeing's largest union. Conner joined Boeing in 1977 as a mechanic on the 727 program.
Albaugh joined Boeing in 1975 in what was then Rockwell Corporation's defense and space business, which Boeing acquired in 1996. During his career, he served as president of Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power, president and CEO of Boeing Space and Communications, and president and CEO of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. He will continue to report to McNerney while assisting with the transition to Conner until the effective date of his retirement.
"We thank Jim for his many years of service in our defense, space and security businesses and, most recently, to Boeing Commercial Airplanes where he helped ensure the certification and successful entry into service of the 787 Dreamliner and 747-8, and the launch of the 737 MAX," said McNerney.
The leadership change is effective immediately. A replacement for Conner will be named at a later date.
*Editor's Note: Information provided by The Boeing Company.