Boeing’s CEO nixes the idea of acquiring Spirit AeroSystems

As Boeing pushes deeper into accelerating production, Spirit Aerosystems will stay an independent supplier.

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Release Date
June 1, 2023
Boeing’s CEO nixes the idea of acquiring Spirit AeroSystems

North Charleston, South Carolina — In his first press conference in more than three years, Boeing Chief Executive David Calhoun removed the possibility of reabsorbing Spirit AeroSystems into its own operations.

“I’m not gonna sugarcoat it, it’s been rough and tough,” said Calhoun, referring to the relationship between the two companies. “But I believe the path forward is still a constructive path where engineers work with engineers, we get ahead of the manufacturing process capability gaps that we experienced [on the 787] and we’ve experienced on the Max, but those are solved. But I don’t think you acquire a company to solve them.”

Related: Inside the strained union of Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems

The Air Current on May 2 published an extensive deep dive into the fraught relationship between Boeing and Spirit, which at times has vacillated between intensively collaborative and viscerally adversarial over the preceding 17 years.

Current, former and retired senior leaders at both companies concluded to TAC that the original 2005 divestiture of Boeing’s Kansas and Oklahoma divisions was an acute strategic blunder, raising the prospect of the plane maker reversing itself and bringing Spirit’s relevant operations back under its control. A senior advisor to Spirit told TAC the Kansas-based company would have been receptive to an approach by Boeing.

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