The news that Ray Conner will be taking over for the retiring Jim Albaugh as President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes has me taking a trip down memory lane.
I remember very clearly the day Jim took the reins of BCA after leading the defense side of Boeing. He didn’t skip a beat despite moving into a totally different environment—impressing everyone by the way he pushed our business forward. Jim spoke of three key things he wanted to accomplish at BCA: winning the tanker contract, delivering on our 747-8 and 787 development programs, and coming to a long-term agreement with the IAM. He managed to do all three—and we find ourselves in a much better place because of him. Congratulations Jim and thank you!
I first met Ray Conner way back in the early 90’s when he was the new sales director in charge of the Thai Airways account. In those days, I was an economics analyst supporting a 777-300 campaign for Thai. Even then, his passion for our customers was clear. His people skills played a key part in negotiating that contact extension with the IAM—one of Jim Albaugh’s goals. If there’s someone who bleeds “Boeing blue”—it is Ray. His passion for what he does will only make us better—and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of us.