Boeing promotes insider to operating officer, bringing her into discussions about next CEO

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Boeing Co. has promoted the head of its services business to chief operating officer, viewing the female executive as CEO David Calhoun’s voice in a male-dominated industry. potential heir.

Boeing said Monday that Stephanie Pope’s promotion, effective Jan. 1, includes the title of executive vice president.

Pope has been with Boeing for nearly 30 years, holding key financial positions in the company’s defense, commercial aircraft and services segments. She became chief executive of the services unit last year.

Some industry observers were quick to view Pope, 51, as a contender to become the aerospace company’s next CEO. Richard Aboulafia, managing director of aerospace consulting firm AeroDynamic Advisory, named Pope and Chief Financial Officer Brian West as potential successors to Calhoun.

Calhoun, 66, holds top job From January 2020, when he replaced Dennis Muilenburg, who was fired following two fatal crashes involving Boeing 737 Max jets. However, Calhoun has shown no signs that he plans to retire anytime soon.

Just days after Calhoun’s 64th birthday in 2021, Boeing Raise CEO retirement age From 65 to 70 – an age he won’t reach until early 2028. In February, the company’s board of directors awarded Calhoun a $5.3 million retention grant that won’t vest until 2025.

Boeing has struggled with manufacturing and supply chain issues that have disrupted production of the Max and its larger passenger jet, the 787 Dreamliner. The company has also suffered setbacks on military projects, including a contract with the U.S. Air Force to build two new presidential planes.

The company lost $2.2 billion last year first nine months of this year After losing more than $5 billion last year, the company has a backlog of commercial aircraft orders as airlines look to update their fleets with more fuel-efficient models.

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