When Lee Monson joined Boeing Business Jets in fall 1996, expectations for the joint venture of Boeing and engine-builder General Electric, announced that July, were optimistic, but not very high. “We were expecting to sell one BBJ a month,” recalled Borge Boeskov, then president of the fledgling unit. One year later, when Monson was named vice president of sales, Boeskov said, “The BBJ program is taking off much faster than we anticipated.”
Sales of the $40 million-plus bizliner continued to surprise even Boeing until last year, when the effects of the now declared recession and September 11 caused them to plateau. Announced orders and commitments stand at 83 aircraft, or about 1.25 sales per month since program launch. Some 67 BBJs have been delivered to date, 40 of which are in service and the rest are in completion.
At the Paris Air Show last June, BBJ announced that Monson would replace Boeskov when he retires in April this year and the two would share the role until then. Since July, however, Monson has been effectively functioning as president because health reasons kept Boeskov frequently out of the office until last month.
Monson, a 1977 graduate of the Air Force Academy, holds DC-9 and GIV-SP type ratings and has about 4,000 hr TT. Before joining Boeing, he spent four years as a sales manager with Gulfstream. He has also worked for Learjet, Avjet, SimuFlite and Global Wulfsberg.