ARLINGTON, Va. — Boeing, one of the leading aerospace companies, has announced the appointment of Stephanie Pope as the new Chief Operating Officer (COO). This promotion is a significant milestone for Pope, as she becomes one of the few female executives in a male-dominated industry. Her appointment will be effective from January 1, next year.

Pope brings with her a wealth of experience, having dedicated nearly three decades to Boeing. Throughout her career, she has held various key financial positions within the company, including roles in the defense, commercial airplanes, and services divisions. In fact, she assumed the position of CEO of the services unit just last year.

Given her deep understanding of the industry and her successful track record, Pope has been identified by industry experts as a potential future CEO of Boeing. Richard Aboulafia, Managing Director of AeroDynamic Advisory, has named Pope as one of the strong contenders for the position, alongside Chief Financial Officer Brian West.

David Calhoun, Boeing’s current CEO, has been at the helm since January 2020. Following the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of his predecessor, Dennis Muilenburg, Calhoun has steered the company through challenging times. Despite turning 66 this year, there is no indication that Calhoun intends to retire anytime soon. In fact, Boeing recently extended the retirement age for their CEO from 65 to 70, with Calhoun not reaching this revised age threshold until early 2028. To further solidify his commitment to the company, Calhoun was awarded a $5.3 million retention grant by the board earlier this year, which will vest in 2025.

Boeing has faced its fair share of obstacles in recent years. They have encountered manufacturing and supply chain issues that have disrupted the production of their flagship aircraft, such as the Boeing 737 Max and the 787 Dreamliner. Additionally, the company has faced setbacks in military contracts, including a crucial project with the U.S. Air Force to construct two new presidential jets. These challenges have impacted Boeing’s financial performance, resulting in a loss of $2.2 billion in the first three quarters of this year, following a loss of over $5 billion in the previous year. However, despite these setbacks, Boeing remains optimistic due to its substantial backlog of orders for commercial planes. Airlines around the world are eager to update their fleets with more fuel-efficient models, presenting a significant opportunity for the company moving forward.

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