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Carson retiring as head of Boeing Commercial Airplanes

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Aug. 31, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
August 31, 2009 1:25 pm

Scott Carson, who has presided over Boeing Puget Sound-based Commercial Airplanes Group since Alan Mulallay left to head up Ford Motor Co., will retire at year’s end.


The 63-year-old Carson has headed the commercial airplanes operation during some of its toughest times as the vaunted 787 Dreamliner program faltered from technical and production delays.


Carson’s replacement will be Jim Albaugh, 59, the head of Boeing’s Integrated Defense Systems division. Albaugh’s successor is Dennis Muilenburg, 45. Muilenburg has served as head of Boeing’s Integrated Defense System’s Global Support unit.


Both Albaugh and Muilenburg will assume their new positions Tuesday. Carson will work with Albaugh to transition to his new job.


Carson’s retirement announcement comes less than a week after Boeing announced yet another new target date for the 787′s first flight. That date, late this year, will be about 2 1/2 years behind the original schedule for the plane’s initial takeoff.


The game-changing 787 has been hit with both production bottlenecks at suppliers and with technical problems. Boeing last week said it would add $2.5 billion in charges for research and development for the 787 program because of the delays and re-engineering.


Boeing Chairman Jim McNerney said now was an opportune time to change leadership at Boeing’s commercial airplane operation because Carson has installed strong leadership at the head of the individual aircraft programs and because the troubled 787 program has been given a fresh development timeline.


Albaugh’s management hallmarks are “speed and accountability,” McNerney said, and he expects those will be carried through to his new job.


Albaugh said Boeing considered a range of possibilities to replace the retiring Carson including outside candidates and manager within the commercial airplane operation, but in the end Albaugh emerged as the clear choice.


“It was clear that the best person to lead BCA was Jim Albaugh,” he said.


The Boeing chairman praised Carson and his accomplishments.


“The Boeing board of directors and I appreciate Scott’s long record of accomplishment across many disciplines, function and business, and the enduring contributions he has made through 38 years of service,” said McNerney.


Before succeeding Mulally, Carson revived Boeing’s commercial airplane sales operation. Before that, he headed up Connexion by Boeing, an airborne Internet system that never sold well to airlines.


Albaugh has headed the defense and space side of Boeing’s operations since 2002. A Washington native, Albaugh is moving back to the state soon.

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