WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Boeing <BA.N> said on Tuesday it was naming chief financial officer Greg Smith to oversee a newly formed group that will consolidate several key operational areas.
Smith will oversee enterprise operations, finance and strategy and will oversee manufacturing, supply chain and operations, finance, enterprise performance, strategy, enterprise services and administration effective May 1.
Boeing said Smith is tasked with restoring “production and supply chain health as Boeing and the broader aerospace industry recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The planemaker is restarting commercial airplane operations in Washington State this week. Boeing said last month it wanted the government to “ensure a minimum of $60 billion in access to public and private liquidity, including loan guarantees, for the aerospace manufacturing industry.” The company has not said what type of direct government assistance it may pursue.
Boeing, facing a 13-month-old freeze on deliveries of the 737 MAX and now disruption to deliveries of larger planes due to the coronavirus, said last week it had delivered 50 planes in the first quarter, barely a third of the 149 a year earlier and the lowest since 1984 for the first quarter.
The pandemic has forced Boeing and European rival Airbus <AIR.PA> to cut production in the face of plunging demand, cash problems at airlines and logistical difficulties in delivering aircraft.
Boeing remains in talks with regulators seeking approval to return the 737 MAX to service that was grounded in March 2019 after two fatal crashes in five months. Earlier this month, Boeing said it was addressing two new software issues with the MAX flight control computer. A key certification test flight is not expected until late May at the earliest.
Boeing also said it was combining legal and core compliance programs into a single organization led by chief legal officer Brett Gerry. Boeing plans to soon name a chief compliance officer.
“These changes will drive greater alignment among our functions; better equip our commercial, defense and space, and services businesses to deliver on customer commitments in a changing marketplace,” said Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun
Calhoun became CEO after the board in December fired Dennis Muilenburg. Smith ran Boeing on an interim basis until Calhoun took over in January.
Boeing said Diana Sands, senior vice president of the office of internal governance and administration, will retire later this year and Jenette Ramos, senior vice president of manufacturing and supply chain operations, will move to a special assignment.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chris Reese and Tom Brown)