Boeing wants Spirit AeroSystems before it picks a new CEO

That hasn't stopped its outgoing CEO from publicly weighing in on who he thinks should be next.

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Release Date
April 25, 2024
Boeing wants Spirit AeroSystems before it picks a new CEO
Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems had wanted to have a deal done by the announcement of the aerospace giant’s first quarter results on April 24, according to two industry officials familiar with each company’s objectives. Instead, Boeing is trying not to get stuck waiting for its most important supplier to organize a market exit with its chief rival.

“As with any large and complex deal, there are a number of terms and issues we need to work through including price, financing and other key items and the best approach to handling and potentially divesting certain work that Spirit does for other customers,” Boeing CFO Brian West told analysts on the company’s first quarter earnings call Wednesday — without mentioning Airbus by name.

Related: Spirit AeroSystems settles back into Boeing’s orbit

This is a particularly large and complex deal, which — if completed — would mark Boeing’s largest acquisition since 1997 when it merged with McDonnell Douglas, seven years before its Wichita and Tulsa plants were divested to create Spirit. “We believe in this basic logic of a deal, but we’ll take the time needed to get this right before we decide to enter into an agreement,” said West.

Completing an agreement between Boeing and Spirit will likely come before the aerospace giant selects a new chief executive, but there remains an increasingly tight relationship between the two milestones, according to interviews by The Air Current. It’s impossible to separate Boeing’s rolling strategic restructuring from the context of who will be its next chief executive and their slate of priorities. Every major fire burning at Boeing is interconnected.

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