By David Shepardson and Tim Hepher
WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) -Boeing Commercial Airplanes is tapping its sales chief who helped lead the U.S. planemaker through two major crises in recent years to oversee supply-chain issues as part of a number of executive moves.
Ihssane Mounir has been named senior vice president of global supply chain, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal said in an email to employees. Mounir was previously senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing.
Deal said both internal and external supply chains “are being combined under Ihssane to integrate our supply chain strategies.”
Mounir helped steer Boeing through the twin crises of the fatal crashes which led to the grounding of the 737 MAX and the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in leadership of the industry switching to rival Airbus SE, as measured in the number of planes delivered.
He made headlines in 2019 with a tentative sale of 200 MAX planes to British Airways owner IAG, stealing the Paris Airshow from Airbus in a deal seen as a rescue package for the floundering MAX just as Boeing was sliding into a two-year crisis.
That number of planes in the sale fell to 50 after the pandemic broke out, but the deal was credited with easing doubts over the future of Boeing’s biggest cash cow. Boeing went on to sell 1,300 airplanes under Mounir since the lifting of the safety ban, although Airbus still leads the coveted top of the segment.
Industry sources have said Boeing is also poised to sell 190 MAX and 30 larger 787s as part of a fleet shake-up involving a total of almost 500 Boeing and Airbus jets at Air India.
Among other moves, Deal said Brad McMullen, vice president of commercial sales North America, will succeed Mounir in his sales position while Kim Smith was named vice president of Boeing Global Services (BGS) Total Quality.
McMullen has for several years driven strategically important accounts in Boeing’s home market, where United Airlines last week ordered 100 MAX and 100 787s, again upstaging Airbus whose own United order for 45 A350s now looks uncertain.
Former aerodynamicist Mounir must now deal with separate turmoil in supply chains that have been disrupted by the factory bottlenecks and labor shortages seen worldwide post-COVID.
Deal told reporters last week that Boeing faces a number of supply-chain issues. “One thing that we’re going to be very mindful of is to make sure we run a disciplined ramp-up,” he said.
(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and Tim Hepher in LondonEditing by Matthew Lewis)