James Bell, Boeing executive vice president, corporate president and CFO, has announced plans to retire from the company, effective April 1, 2012. Boeing’s board has elected Greg Smith, 45, corporate controller and finance vice president, to succeed Bell as executive vice president and CFO, effective Feb. 1, 2012. Boeing said the two will work together over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition.
James A. Bell
Boeing once again lowered its forecast for deliveries of the 787 and 747-8 this year, to between 15 and 20 aircraft, after previously projecting an output of between 25 and 30 units. The 747-8F will account for roughly two thirds of those deliveries, said Boeing, meaning that it won’t ship more than seven 787s this year. It has so far delivered two 787s to Japan’s All Nippon Airways.
Indices used by airframe manufacturers to adjust the prices of airplanes on order have proved unhelpful lately to the OEMs, as the global recession suppresses commodity and retail prices along with wages. In Boeing’s case, margins dropped 7 points, to 4.9 percent in the first quarter, largely due to the unfavorable movement within the economic indices it uses to set increases in prices for its airplanes, according to Boeing CFO James Bell.
The delay of the first flight and early deliveries of the 787 will cost Boeing $3.5 billion in revenue next year, according to financial guidance released by the company this morning.
Reporting on last month’s firing of Harry Stonecipher as president and CEO of Boeing after it was revealed that he was having an extramarital intracompany affair with a female executive, The Wall Street Journal noted, “Fifteen months ago, Chicago-based Boeing brought back its retired president to bolster ethical practices after a string of scandals.” Such a relationship is not barred.
Both Boeing and Airbus have come to the Paris Air Show without permanent leaders. EADS has missed its target of June 1 to find a successor for Nöel Forgeard at Airbus and to complete its own management restructuring. Forgeard in effect still acts as CEO of Airbus while serving alongside Thomas Enders as co-chief executives of EADS.