© Stocksak. FILE PHOTO – A Boeing 737 Max aircraft at the Farnborough International Airshow. Farnborough, Britain. July 20, 2022. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra
By Tim Hepher & David Shepardson
(Stocksak) -Boeing Co has appointed a senior troubleshooter to help turn around loss-making programs at its Defense, Space & Security (BDS) division in what some sources view as a potential template for future efforts to fix wider industrial woes.
According to industry sources, Steve Parker, who is responsible for Boeing’s fighter and bomber programmes as well its St Louis defense plants, was promoted to the role of chief operating officers. The division makes up nearly half of Boeing’s revenue.
Boeing spokeswoman confirmed the appointment last week, but it has not been made public.
Ted Colbert was named the chief executive officer of BDS in January after a career that included mainly in IT services. He then took over the helm at Boeing Global Services, which provides engineering and parts for military aircraft.
After delays and cost overruns that hampered a number of long-term projects, Boeing is now committing to a fixed price for the move to improve industrial leadership.
Customers and investors expressed concern about delays in production and development at Boeing as it struggles to recover from a severe safety crisis and $45 billion in net debt.
Brian West, Chief Financial Officer, said last month that fixed price defense contracts were being “knocked around by supply chain issues, inflation and labor shortages.”
Boeing paid $400 million in charges during the second quarter on programs such as the MQ-25 drone that refuels the U.S Navy and the Starliner crew project for NASA.
It also faces losses on its KC-46A and T-7A training programs for the U.S. Air Force as well as on new Air Force One jets.
It is important to address the nuts and bolts in BDS not only because of immediate pressures, but also because its work on advanced design methods is expected influence future civil jetliner programs at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Boeing spokesperson stated that there was no plan to add COOs.
Two people familiar with the matter stated that Parker’s new operational role could open the door for similar roles at other businesses.
One of the people stated, “It isn’t an isolated approach.”
In 2006, Scott Carson, the new chief of the BCA, appointed Jim Jamieson chief operational officer of the planemaking unit. This broad role allowed him to effectively oversee jet manufacturing and development until his retirement 18 months later.
Jamieson’s manufacturing strength was seen as a counterweight for Carson’s sales and financial background following the departure of Alan Mulally, revered chief jetliner officer, to Ford.
These changes were made just as Boeing was trying manage changes in manufacturing and the development of the Boeing 787. They also had to bear the scars of a 1997 production crises.
Boeing is again involved in a major overhaul of design methods and manufacturing processes, using digital modeling rooted in the creation of the T-7A military training system.
Boeing delayed a decision to launch a pair new civil jets for around two years due to debts and questions about the timing of new engine technology and production systems.
Airbus has had a chief operating office for its main planemaking arm for a long time, but in practice it is more than a divisional position as the defense and helicopter units fit in underneath.