Boeing's Commercial Jet Chief Bails Out

The Associated Press

Boeing (BA) said on Monday, Aug. 31, that Scott Carson will step down as head of the company's commercial airplane division and retire at the end of the year. The Chicago-based company said Carson will be succeeded on Tuesday by the head of its defense business, Jim Albaugh.

Boeing's commercial aircraft operation has struggled with sharply lower orders amid the global economic downturn, which has hurt demand for air travel and cargo services. It also has grappled with problems arising from its new 787, a next-generation aircraft that's been delayed five times. Boeing said last week that the lightweight plane will fly for the first time by yearend.

Despite the 787's troubles, the plane is Boeing's best-selling new aircraft to date—a company priority.

Carson, 63, has led Boeing's commercial plane division since 2006. He has worked for the aerospace company for 38 years, including two years in charge of the commercial unit's sales organization.

Boeing said Dennis Muilenburg, president of its military support and services business, will succeed Albaugh as president and CEO of the company's defense business, Integrated Defense Systems.

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said Carson and Albaugh will work together to ensure a smooth transition and that Carson will assist on special Boeing projects through the end of the year.

Shares of Boeing fell 1.37, or 2.7%, to close at 49.67.

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