"Boeing teams are analyzing the many variables involved with the 777X to ensure we have an airplane that provides superior value and continues the 777's market dominance," Ray Conner, president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, wrote in a message to employees Friday.
Conner has put Bob Feldmann in charge of the 777X development effort. As vice president and general manager of the program, Feldmann will be in charge of getting the business case for the updated 777X "where it needs to be," Conner wrote. Feldmann comes to the 777X program having just helped lead the development effort on Boeing's 737 MAX.
"There is still a lot of work ahead for the 737 MAX program, including driving toward firm configuration later this year," Conner wrote.
To that end, Conner named Keith Leverkuhn as 737 MAX vice president and general manager. Leverkuhn had served as vice president and general manager of Boeing's Propulsion Systems Division. Both Leverkuhn and Feldmann will report to Scott Fancher, who was named vice president of Airplane Development in 2012. Conner said the two will serve as "development deputies" in their work with Airplane Development.
Given the importance of improved engines to the 787-10 and 777X, the Propulsion System Division will play a "critical role" in future products, Conner wrote. He named Nicole Piasecki as vice president of the division, giving her the responsibility of shaping the engine strategy for commercial airplanes.
Conner also announced that he is merging the five groups that made up Boeing's business development and strategic integration team. Four of the five will merge into the marketing and business development and will report to Mike Bair. The fifth group will report to the supplier management organization.