Boeing shuffles executives, placing two in line for top leadership

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In an executive leadership shuffle at Boeing Commercial Airplanes announced internally Tuesday, highly successful sales chief Ihssane Mounir is switching over to head the unit’s supply chain and parts fabrication factories.

And vice president Kim Smith, who for three years has managed production of the 767, Air Force tanker and 747 jets and was site leader at the Everett plant, is moving out of the Commercial Airplanes division to head quality control for the entire company at Boeing Global Services.

It’s a clear indication Boeing is preparing both executives for potential top leadership positions later by broadening their management experience.

Under Mounir, 51, born in Morocco, jet sales have solidly recovered after three of the most difficult years in the company’s history.

Boeing won net orders for 580 jets this year through November, not counting the recent blockbuster order for 200 widebody 787s and 737 MAXs from United Airlines.

With weakness in the global supply chain a vulnerability that could hamper the jetmaker’s recovery, Mounir will take over a key and difficult position in manufacturing.

In addition to tracking external suppliers, he’ll oversee Boeing Fabrication, the in-house supplier that makes airplane parts at factories in the Puget Sound region, Montana, Oregon, South Carolina, and Utah, and internationally in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.

The intention behind the move was clear in the announcement by Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal, when he said the leadership changes are intended “to further enable increasing stability and predictability in our supply chain and factories, along with the continued development of our senior leaders.”

Deal, 58, was formerly the head of sales at Commercial Airplanes and immediately before taking his current CEO spot headed Boeing Global Services, which includes the enterprise-wide supply chain.

If Mounir handles his new role as well as he did sales, a CEO spot is likely in his future.

Deal announced that Brad McMullen, 54, who currently heads jet sales in North America, will succeed Mounir as senior vice president of Commercial Sales.

Smith, 53, the Head of the Everett site, is one of several women executives at Boeing who have carved out a lead role heading production in the factories. She already has wide experience across the company.

Having started at Boeing as an engineer, Smith had a stint heading production of attack helicopters at Boeing’s defense facility in Mesa, Arizona, and then led the Fabrication unit.

She’s run the Everett assembly plant since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, which severely reduced demand for and production of the big widebody jets built there.

On a visit last month to the 747 assembly line, Smith displayed an easy, enthusiastic rapport with workers on the floor.

With the last 747 having rolled out this month, it’s perhaps a suitable moment to move on. At Global Services, she’ll be responsible for developing common processes, tools and training on quality control throughout Boeing.

Deal said Kim Pastega, currently vice president and general manager at Boeing Fabrication, will take over as general manager of 767 and Air Force tanker final assembly as well as overall leadership of the Everett site.

Pastega, 54, is another executive who has moved around and gained wide experience within Boeing manufacturing, with spells heading up Fabrication and the supply chain and previous stints in Everett responsible for 777 and 787 production.

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