Boeing CEO adds chairman to title as McNerney steps down

Jim McNerney has been chairman of Boeing since 2005.

The board of Boeing Co. elected CEO Dennis A. Muilenburg as its next chairman in a widely expected transition that takes effect March 1, the aerospace giant said Monday.

He succeeds Jim McNerney. Boeing said its independent lead director Kenneth M. Duberstein continues in that role.

Muilenburg, 52, succeeded McNerney as Boeing’s 10th chief executive and joined the board in July. At that time, McNerney, 66, continued as chairman. McNerney joined the Boeing board in 2001 and was elected chairman in 2005.

“On behalf of the Boeing board, I want to thank Jim again for more than 10 years of dedicated service as chairman and for the transformational leadership that guided the company through an important period of renewal and growth,” Duberstein said in a statement. “Dennis has proved that he has the leadership skills, energy and vision to build on the strong foundation that Jim established.”

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McNerney was CEO of Boeing when it picked North Charleston in 2009 for its second 787 Dreamliner assembly plant, sending shockwaves through the company’s longtime commercial aircraft strongold in Washington state. The company now has more than 7,500 employees in the Lowcountry, where it has invested more than $2 billion.

McNerney’s successor as CEO and chairman joined Boeing in 1985 as an intern in Seattle. Muilenburg has a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the University of Washington.