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Boeing Makes Senior Executive Moves Including Corporate Supply Chain Management

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Aerospace manufacturer Boeing announced some senior executive moves on Friday, two of which Supply Chain Matters views as positive, including the recognition of supply chain management at the Executive Council level.

The moves include senior executive leadership roles that previously reported to John Tracy, Boeing’s Senior Vice President, Operations & Technology and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) who announced his retirement effective this summer after 35 years of service, 10 of which was as CTO.

Pat Shanahan, the current head of Commercial Airplane Programs will now become Senior Vice President for Supply Chain Management and Operations companywide.  According to the announcement, Shanahan will have direct responsibility for oversight of manufacturing operations and supplier management functions, including implementation of advanced manufacturing technologies and global supply chain strategies.  Mr. Shanahan will further lead corporate efforts in Environment, Health and Safety, as well as Intellectual Property Management. He will report directly to Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s CEO.

Shanahan is a 30-year Boeing veteran and noted as having extensive companywide experience. He currently oversees management of the 737, 747, 767, 777 and 787 production programs and has overall responsibility for operations at Boeing’s principle manufacturing sites of Renton and Everett, Washington, and North Charleston, South Carolina

What is interesting is that the executive was previously Vice President and General Manager of the 787 Dreamliner program during a critical period in the aircraft’s development from 2007 to 2008. Readers might recall that the 787 Dreamliner program represented Boeing’s aggressive entry into major global supply chain component and sub-systems sourcing, one that provided a lot of subsequent challenging learning for Boeing. Mr. Shanahan’s academic background includes a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington, and dual science degrees in mechanical engineering and management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Obviously, the creation of a singular, corporate-wide global supply chain and operations management leadership role is significant and noteworthy.

Among other senior executive announcements on Friday was that of CIO Ted Colbert being also named as Vice President of Information and Analytics. In addition to currently leading IT strategy, operations and processes Mr. Colbert will now have responsibility for the company’s Information and Analytics initiative.

Mr. Colbert was appointed CIO in late 2013, responsible for more than 8000 IT people globally. His background at Boeing includes previous leadership roles in leading Information Technology Infrastructure and IT Business Systems. What impressed Supply Chain Matters with this latest move was the recognition and added leadership of information and analytics at the most senior operating level, an indication of the continued importance of this capability among capital equipment manufacturers.  We further view this as an acknowledgement of the increasing importance for bringing together Internet of Things (IoT) and Information Analytics efforts under a singular leadership umbrella.

Other senior executive elevations announced included roles in Program Integration and Development, Engineering and Test Technology. These senior functional leadership elevation changes are effective April 4.

Congratulations to Boeing on these executive moves.


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