Boeing Names Conner to Lead BCA, Albaugh to Retire

 - June 26, 2012, 4:53 PM
Raymond Conner, new CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, replaces Jim Albaugh, who announced his decision to retire on October 1. (Photo: Boeing)

Boeing named a new head of its Commercial Airplanes unit while announcing Tuesday afternoon that Jim Albaugh has decided to retire from the company on October 1. Raymond Conner, 57, formerly Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ senior vice president of sales and customer support, assumes Albaugh’s CEO position immediately.

Albaugh, 62, will continue to report to Boeing chairman, president and CEO Jim McNerney while he helps with Conner’s transition until the effective date of his retirement, said Boeing. The company said it would announce a replacement for Conner at a later date.

Conner accepted his prior leadership position in sales and customer support in August 2010, following a 21-month tenure as vice president of supply chain management and operations, which included overseeing development of Boeing’s new production and assembly facilities in South Carolina.

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 four-year contract extension with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Boeing’s largest union. Conner joined Boeing in 1977 as a mechanic on the 727 program.

“Ray’s breadth and depth of experience in commercial airplanes is unmatched in our industry,” said McNerney. “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.”

Albaugh served as CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes since September 2009, when he moved to the civil side of the business after running Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. Before that assignment, Albaugh served as president and CEO of Boeing Space and Communications (S&C) for four years. That unit merged in July 2002 with the company’s Military Aircraft and Missiles Systems division to create Integrated Defense Systems. Before leading Space and Communications, Albaugh ran Boeing Space Transportation, a predecessor unit of S&C. He assumed that position after serving as president of Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power, part of the Rockwell aerospace and defense businesses acquired by Boeing in 1996.

“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.