Boeing CEO To Suppliers: Share The Pain

By Joseph C. Anselmo , Guy Norris
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

I think the commercial side will grow disproportionately over the next five years and become a larger percentage, which does not trouble me. The key is to hold on to a strategic critical mass on either side. I'm sure someone is going to write an article saying that Boeing is getting out of the defense business. Nothing could be further from the truth.

SpaceX is on the verge of competing for national security launches. Are you concerned about its challenge to your United Launch Alliance [ULA]?

In many respects my hat is off to SpaceX. They have an opportunity to have a significant share of the low end of the launch business. That puts pressure on some elements of ULA, but it doesn't change the business equation. You'll see most of our new resources going into the high end—it is SLS (NASA's heavy-lift Space Launch System) or the capsule that can go on some of the lower-orbit missions. So we're trying to stay at the forefront of technology as a way to insulate ourselves, in part, from the commodity end of the launch business.

The U.S. is charging that Chinese hackers have compromised a lot of national security technology. Are there similar concerns about Boeing's commercial technology being compromised?

I would leave the overall cyber-espionage discussion to the governments. But as a corporation, sure I'm concerned. The source is not just one country—it is lots of countries and lots of people. We've had some incursions. Nothing that has changed the competitive balance, but we are concerned about it every day.

July 1 marks the eight-year anniversary of your appointment as Boeing's CEO. How much longer do you plan to stay on the job?

We have a robust succession process that we've been managing since the day I got here. At some point it will make sense to have a transition. There are no plans that I know of for that to happen. I'm enjoying the job. I'm a young 63—64 in August—and I'm going to stay young.

Should we expect a launch announcement for the 787-10X at Le Bourget?

I think we're going to have a good show.

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