Boeing’s Jim Albaugh Abruptly Retires, Ray Conner Becomes CEO of Airliner Unit Immediately
Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney named longtime Boeing executive Ray Conner as Albaugh’s replacement, effective immediately. Albaugh will remain onboard in his other role as Executive Vice President of The Boeing Company until his retirement becomes official on October 1.
The move marked Boeing’s second management move so far this year, following the retirement of Chief Financial Officer James Bell in April.
“Ray’s breadth and depth of experience in commercial airplanes is unmatched in our industry,” said McNerney, in a statement. “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.”
Since joining Boeing in 1977 as a 727 mechanic, Conner, 57, has gone on to bigger and better roles, including overseing Boeing’s development in South Carolina, serving as vice president and general manager of both the 777 and 747 programs, as well as a period as vice president of sales for the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions. Most recently, Conner previously served under Albaugh as senior vice president, Sales and Customer Support for Commercial Airplanes, during which he was deeply involved in Boeing’s negotiations toward the landmark, four-year contract extension with Boeing’s machinists union.
Albaugh took over the airliner division in 2009, which at the time was plagued with delays in the critical 787 and 747-8 programs. He originally joined Boeing in 1996 when the company purchased Rockwell Corporation, where Albaugh had been an executive since 1975. In those 37 years, Albaugh at various times served as president of Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power, president and CEO of Boeing Space and Communications, and president and CEO of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems
“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.