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Boeing Hires High-Profile U.S. Government Official into Senior Executive Position

Boeing Hires High-Profile U.S. Government Official into Senior Executive Position

BY GEORGE MWANGI 04/09/2023 AGO 0 COMMENTS

Multiple challenges in recent years have forced Boeing to make changes to its senior leadership. As part of this reshuffling, the company announced that a former high-ranking U.S. government official would fill a senior executive position at the company.

 

Steven Biegun will now be the Senior Vice President of Global Public Policy.

 



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Photo: Pool/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images

 

According to Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun, Biegun was hired as part of plans to "deepen [Boeing's] efforts in developing and executing a strategic global public policy plan while helping [them] strengthen important relationships with key stakeholders in the U.S. and around the world".

 



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The company aims to improve its public image as it recovers from the pandemic and several accidents involving the 737 MAX aircraft. Strengthening relationships with customers is a priority for Boeing as it plans on increasing deliveries of the 737 MAX and 787 planes this year. The financial backdrop is expected to provide support for these initiatives, with the company recording its first positive free cash flow since 2018 in the most recent earnings season.

 

Policy issues are important to Boeing because public policy can affect the company's ability to implement deliveries. For example, the worsening US-China relationship has prevented Boeing from delivering at least 130 737 MAX airplanes to Chinese airlines.

 

Photo: AeroXplorer | Aviator C

 

Biegun gained experience in international diplomacy through serving as the special envoy to North Korea, the second-highest ranking official in the State Department, and as a White House foreign policy aide. In the private sector, Biegun was the head of international government relations at Ford Motor Company. Boeing sees Biegun as the right person to help the company navigate geopolitical issues that may arise during flight orders.

 

Photo: AeroXplorer | Dylan Tolley

 

The introduction of a new Senior Vice President for Global Public Policy comes at a good time for the company. Boeing recently completed a large deal that saw the Saudi Airlines Riyadh Air and Saudia purchase 78 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

 



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The return of demand for commercial air travel is also expected to benefit Boeing greatly. The company aims to hire 10,000 new employees and generate between $3 billion and $5 billion in free cash flow this year. If all goes well, 2023 is set to be the "comeback year" for Boeing.

George Mwangi
Aviation writer based in Washington, DC. Visited 21 countries on thousands of miles of flights.

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