Boeing jetliner unit names new supply-chain, sales execs

WASHINGTON/LONDON, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Boeing (BA.N) Commercial Airplanes is tapping the sales chief who helped lead the U.S. planemaker through two major crises in recent years to oversee fractured global supply chains as the aerospace industry battles to meet resurgent jet demand.

Ihssane Mounir has been named senior vice president of global supply chain, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Chief Executive Stan Deal said in an email to employees. Mounir was previously senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing.

Deal told the company's 1,200 direct suppliers in a separate memo that Mounir would lead internal and external supply chains and integrate strategy and requirements across all programs.

The decision to unite in-house fabrication and the external supply chain restores a structure used in the past and comes as the industry fights post-COVID disruption on a broad front.

"As an industry, while we are seeing strong indications of global market resilience and recovery, we are still working to drive stability and predictability in our factories," Deal said in the memo to suppliers, which was seen by Reuters.

During an unusually long six-year stint as sales chief, Mounir helped steer Boeing through the twin crises of fatal crashes that led to the grounding of the 737 MAX and the COVID-19 pandemic - a period during which rival Airbus SE (AIR.PA) emerged as largest planemaker by number of deliveries.

He made headlines in 2019 with a tentative sale of 200 MAX to British Airways owner IAG (ICAG.L) , stealing the Paris Airshow from Airbus in a deal seen as a rescue package for the floundering jetliner just as Boeing was sliding into a two-year crisis.

The number of planes involved fell to 50 when the deal was finalized after the pandemic, but the original coup was credited with easing doubts over the future of Boeing's biggest cash cow.

Boeing went on to sell 1,300 MAX jets under Mounir since the lifting of the safety ban, offsetting a slew of cancellations, although Airbus still leads the coveted top of the segment.

Industry sources have said Boeing is also poised to sell 190 MAX and 30 larger 787s as part of a fleet shake-up involving a total close to 500 jets at Air India, roughly split with Airbus.

Among other moves, Deal said Brad McMullen, vice president of commercial sales North America, would succeed Mounir in his sales position while Kim Smith was named to the new role of vice president of Boeing Global Services (BGS) Total Quality.

McMullen has for several years driven strategically important accounts in Boeing's home market, where United Airlines (UAL.O) last week ordered 100 MAX and 100 787s, again upstaging Airbus whose own United order for 45 A350s now looks uncertain.

Former aerodynamicist Mounir must now deal with separate turmoil in supply chains that have been disrupted by the factory bottlenecks and labor shortages seen worldwide post-COVID.

Deal told reporters last week that Boeing faces a number of supply-chain issues.

"One thing that we're going to be very mindful of is to make sure we run a disciplined (production) ramp-up," he said.

Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and Tim Hepher in London; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Leslie Adler

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