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McAllister to replace retiring Conner as Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief

November 21, 2016

Ray Conner is retiring as CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Kevin McAllister will replace Ray Conner as president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, the division that includes Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner plant and other operations in North Charleston, the aerospace giant said Monday.

The appointment by Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s president and CEO, is effective immediately. Connor, who at 61 is preparing to retire, will stay on through the end of 2017 as a company vice chairman. McAllister, 53, previously was president and CEO of GE Aviation Services.

Muilenburg also appointed veteran Boeing executive Stanley Deal as president and CEO of Boeing Global Services, a new business unit that will be formed from the customer service groups within Boeing’s existing commercial airplanes and defense, space and security business units.

“With Ray Conner’s retirement timeline in sight and an expanding global services market to pursue, these moves will further strengthen and grow Boeing and better serve our customers, employees, shareholders and other partners in the years ahead,” Muilenburg said in a statement.

Conner, in a memo to employees, called his nearly four decades with Boeing “a great privilege” and “an incredible personal journey.”

“Over the next several months, I will be working closely with Kevin to seamlessly transition our extensive customer, supplier and outside stakeholder relationships, while ensuring a tight focus on our continuing operations and customer support commitments,” Conner said. “Dennis has also asked me to stay engaged in the ongoing product strategy work that will shape the future of our airplane family.”

Conner has been corporate vice chairman since 2013, and president and CEO of Commercial Airplanes since 2012. A 39-year company veteran who started as a mechanic on the 727 program, he has held roles that span production, program management, supply chain management, and sales and marketing.

McAllister joins Boeing after 27 years with GE Aviation. He has been credited with delivering record backlog growth for the nearly $25 billion GE business.

A materials engineer, McAllister joined GE in 1989 from aerospace supplier Howmet Corporation, where he held various engineering leadership roles in product design, manufacturing and technology development. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, he also is chairman of the board of ORBIS International, a nonprofit committed to affordable, accessible and sustainable eye care worldwide.

Muilenburg called McAllister “one of the industry’s best and most highly regarded senior executives,” adding he has the “results-oriented operational and business experience needed to lead this vital and growing part of our company.”

“He’s a passionate leader with decades of commercial aviation knowledge and experience,” Muilenburg said.

Deal, 52, brings three decades of broad aerospace experience to his new leadership role. Since 2014 he has served as senior vice president of Boeing’s Commercial Aviation Services business, delivering consecutive years of record performance. Previously, he was vice president and general manager of supply chain management and pperations for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Boeing Global Services is scheduled to begin fully operating as the company’s third major business unit by the third quarter of 2017, with a small core headquarters group based in Dallas.

Boeing is a major employer in the Charlestion region, with about 7,900 workers and contractors.