Boeing Commercial Airplanes is restructuring its marketing and business development unit following the unexpected announcement by Mike Bair—the executive who leads the current strategic, planning and marketing group—that he is to retire.
Bair, who is 57, was named senior vice president of marketing in February 2012 following a period as leader of the 737 Product Development group in the run up to the launch of the 737 MAX. Before that he was vice president of Business Strategy and Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, but is best remembered for his role as vice president and general manager of the 787 program.
After he joined the company in 1979 as an engineer on the 767, Bair rose through the ranks until in 2000 he took the lead in marketing Boeing’s future products. A key player in the events that led to the cancellation of the 747X, a predecessor to the radically different 747-8, Bair also oversaw the birth and death of the Sonic Cruiser and the subsequent launch of the 787.
Bair was appointed vice president and general manager of the 7E7 program in January 2003, and tasked with building the business case to launch the first all-new Boeing airliner in a decade. This included finding risk-sharing partners, running a hotly debated competition for the final assembly site and finding customers.
He led the program through its formative years, and its formal launch as the 787, until it hit major delays and development issues in 2007 and 2008. Scott Fancher, the current vice president and general manager of the recently formed Airplane Development organization, took the reins of the troubled 787 program from Bair in December 2008.
With Bair’s departure, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner has decided to revise the management structure.
Marketing will now go to the sales group led by marketing vice president Randy Tinseth, who in turn, reports to Global Sales Senior Vice President John Wojick. The strategy elements, including products, environment and international business development, will be folded into the finance group led by Kevin Schemm, who will be head of finance and strategy.