UPDATE 2-Boeing jetliner unit names new supply-chain, sales execs

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(Adds separate memo, context)

By Tim Hepher & David Shepardson

WASHINGTON/LONDON – Boeing Commercial Airplanes will tap the sales chief who led the U.S. aircraftmaker through two major crises. This is to help oversee fractured global supply chain as the aerospace sector struggles to meet resurgent jet demand.

Ihsane Munir has been appointed senior vice president of global supplies chain, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Chief Executive Stan Deal stated in an email to employees. Mounir previously served as senior vice-president of commercial sales & marketing.

Deal informed the 1,200 suppliers directly of the company in a separate memo, that Mounir would manage internal and external supply chains as well as integrate strategy and needs across all programs.

The industry is fighting post-COVID disruptions head-on with the decision to unify in-house and external fabrication.

Deal wrote in a memo to suppliers that “As an Industry, we are seeing strong signs of global market resilience. And recovery. However, we are still working hard to drive stability.

Mounir served a six-year term as the sales chief of Boeing. He was responsible for steering the company through the two crises of fatal crashes that resulted in the grounded of the 737 MAX as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. This period saw rival Airbus SE emerge as the largest planemaker by number.

In 2019, he made headlines with his tentative sale of 200 MAX from British Airways to IAG. This deal was seen as a rescue package for the struggling jetliner, just as Boeing was in its second year of crisis.

After the pandemic, the number of involved planes fell to 50. However, the original deal was credit with allaying fears about the future of Boeing’s largest cash cow.

Boeing sold 1,300 MAX jets in Mounir’s supervision, despite cancellations. Airbus remains the top-selling airline in the segment.

According to industry sources, Boeing also plans to sell 190 MAX aircraft and 30 larger 787s in a fleet overhaul that will involve close to 500 Air India jets. This deal is roughly split with Airbus.

Deal announced, among other things, that Brad McMullen would replace Mounir as vice president of North American commercial sales, while Kim Smith was promoted to the role of vice president for Boeing Global Services (BGS), Total Quality.

McMullen is a long-standing leader in Boeing’s home markets. United Airlines ordered 100 MAX and 100787s last week, thereby outperforming Airbus, whose order for 45 A350s looks uncertain.

Mounir, a former aerodynamicist, must now deal separately with the turmoil in supply chains that has been disrupted post-COVID.

Deal said last week to reporters that Boeing faces many supply-chain challenges.

He said, “One thing we’re going be very conscious of is to ensure we run a disciplined production ramp-up.” (Reporting by David Shepardson, Washington, and Tim Hepher, London; Editing and editing by Matthew Lewis and Leslie Adler.

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