Boeing on August 31 named a new head of its troubled commercial aviation division, plagued by the much-delayed 787 Dreamliner program. Jim Albaugh, head of the company's defense unit, would succeed Scott Carson at the helm of Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA).
Albaugh, 59, is president and CEO of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems.
Boeing named Dennis Muilenburg, 45, to succeed Albaugh at the head of the defense systems unit. Muilenburg is president of the unit's Global Services & Support unit.
Carson, 63, who has been the president and chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes since 2006, will retire at the end of the year. "Jim is a seasoned and effective aerospace executive with substantial experience leading and integrating technically complex businesses and programs from initial development through full production and delivery," Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said.
"His program management and engineering focus will help ensure the success of BCA's key development and production programs," McNerney said.
The initial activities of Albaugh, a 34-year Boeing veteran, will center on "getting the team going" and "focusing on some customer-related activities," McNerney said.
McNerney said that Carson had chosen to announce his retirement at this time after Boeing last week unveiled a new schedule for the fuel-efficient 787's first test flight and first delivery. "We've set a new course," he added.
"The Boeing board of directors and I appreciate Scott's long record of accomplishment across many disciplines, functions and businesses, and the enduring contributions he has made to Boeing through 38 years of service," said McNerney.
Carson will be working on a transition with Albaugh and on special projects until his retirement, the company said.
The management shuffle came after Boeing announced on August 27 its 787 Dreamliner airplane will be delivered to Japanese launch customer All Nippon Airways in late 2010.
Boeing launched the Dreamliner program in April 2004 and initially had planned to deliver the first airplane to ANA in the first half of 2008. Boeing said the new schedule reflected a previously announced need to reinforce an area within the side-of-body section of the aircraft and an additional several weeks needed to reduce flight test and certification risk.
ANA and Australia's Qantas, another 787 customer, both expressed frustration at the latest delay in a calendar that has been pushed back five times.
The highly anticipated long-haul 787 aircraft is seen as key to the company's future. The company says it will use 20% less fuel than today's airplanes of comparable size.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009