Boeing promotes alum Dennis Muilenburg to CEO

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Dennis Muilenburg

Boeing announced that Dennis Muilenburg will take over as chief executive officer on July 1. Muilenburg, currently president and chief operating officer, will replace Jim McNerney who has held the aircraft manufacturer’s top job for a decade.

“Dennis is an extremely capable, experienced and respected leader with an immense passion for our company, our people, and our products and services,” said McNerney, who will retain his role as chairman of Boeing’s board of directors, in a statement. “As CEO, Dennis will bring a rich combination of management skills, customer focus, business and engineering acumen, a can-do spirit and the will to win. With a deep appreciation of our past accomplishments, and the energy and skill to drive those to come, he is well suited to lead our very talented Boeing team into its second century.”

“The opportunity to lead the people of Boeing in service to our commercial and government customers is a tremendous honor and responsibility,” said Muilenburg. “Our company is financially strong and well positioned in our markets. As we continue to drive the benefits of integrating our enterprise skills, capabilities and experience – what we call operating as ‘One Boeing’ – we will find new and better ways to engage and inspire employees, deliver innovation that drives customer success, and produce results to fuel future growth and prosperity for all our stakeholders.”

In his most recent role, Muilenburg shared with McNerney oversight of day-to-day business operations with a focus on the company’s growth and productivity initiatives, key customer relationships and leadership-development programs. Prior to that he served since 2009 as president and CEO of Boeing Defense Space & Security, the company’s $31 billion, 53,000-person business unit headquartered in St. Louis. Previously, he was president of the unit’s Global Services & Support business, and before that, he led Boeing’s Combat Systems division.

Muilenburg joined Boeing’s engineering ranks as an intern in Seattle in 1985. He earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Iowa State University and a master’s in aeronautics and astronautics from the University of Washington. He held numerous program management and engineering positions of increasing responsibility early in his career, including on the company’s High Speed Civil Transport, F-22, Airborne Laser and Condor reconnaissance aircraft.

Since graduating from Iowa State and achieving high ranks in Boeing, he still finds time to be actively involved with his alma mater. In 2005 Muilenburg was inducted into the ISU aerospace engineering Hall of Distinguished Alumni. He sponsors the chaired professorship, Dennis and Rebecca Muilenburg Professor of Aerospace Engineering, which is currently held by Dr. Christina Bloebaum. In the recent past, he has also given talks to students in the department about leadership and visited with them about their senior design projects.

Resources: Boeing & Forbes