Boeing

Summary

The Boeing Company (/ˈbɪŋ/) is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets, satellites, telecommunications equipment, and missiles worldwide.[5] The company also provides leasing and product support services. Boeing is among the largest global aerospace manufacturers; it is the third-largest defense contractor in the world based on 2020 revenue[6] and is the largest exporter in the United States by dollar value.[7] Boeing's stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The Boeing Company
Formerly
  • Pacific Aero Products Co. (1916‍–‍1917)
  • Boeing Airplane Company (1917‍–‍1961)[1][2]
Company typePublic
IndustryAerospace
FoundedJuly 15, 1916; 107 years ago (1916-07-15) in Seattle
FounderWilliam E. Boeing
Headquarters,
U.S.
Area served
Worldwide[3]: 1 
Key people
Production output
  • 480 commercial aircraft (2022)
  • 160 military aircraft (2022)
  • 5 satellites (2022)
RevenueIncrease US$77.79 billion (2023)
Negative increase US$−773 million (2023)
Negative increase US$−2.24 billion (2023)
Total assetsDecrease US$137.01 billion (2023)
Total equityDecrease US$−17.23 billion (2023)
Number of employees
171,000 (2023)
Divisions
Subsidiaries
Websiteboeing.com
Footnotes / references
[4]

Boeing was founded by William Boeing in Seattle, Washington, on July 15, 1916.[8] The present corporation is the result of the merger of Boeing with McDonnell Douglas on August 1, 1997. Then-chairman and CEO of Boeing, Philip M. Condit, assumed those roles in the combined company, while Harry Stonecipher, former CEO of McDonnell Douglas, became president and COO.[8]

As of 2023, the Boeing Company's corporate headquarters is located in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia.[9] The company is organized into four primary divisions: Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA); Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS); Boeing Global Services; and Boeing Capital. In 2021, Boeing recorded $62.3 billion (€56.1bn) in sales.[10] Boeing is ranked 54th on the Fortune 500 list (2020),[11] and ranked 121st on the Fortune Global 500 list (2020).[12]

History edit

Origins edit

The Boeing Company was started in 1916, when American lumber industrialist William E. Boeing founded Pacific Aero Products Company in Seattle, Washington. Shortly before doing so, he and Conrad Westervelt created the "B&W" seaplane.[13] In 1917, the organization was renamed Boeing Airplane Company, with William Boeing forming Boeing Airplane & Transport Corporation in 1928.[14] In 1929, the company was renamed United Aircraft and Transport Corporation, followed by the acquisition of several aircraft makers such as Avion, Chance Vought, Sikorsky Aviation, Stearman Aircraft, Pratt & Whitney, and Hamilton Metalplane.[2]

In 1931, the group merged its four smaller airlines into United Airlines. In 1934, aircraft manufacturing was required to be separate from air transportation.[15] Therefore, Boeing Airplane Company became one of three major groups to arise from the dissolution of United Aircraft and Transport; the other two entities were United Aircraft (later United Technologies) and United Airlines.[2][15]

In 1960, the company bought Vertol Aircraft Corporation, which at the time, was the biggest independent manufacturer of helicopters.[16] During the 1960s and 1970s, the company diversified into industries such as outer space travel, marine craft, agriculture, energy production and transit systems.[2]

Sea Launch edit

In 1995, Boeing partnered with Russian, Ukrainian, and Anglo-Norwegian organizations to create Sea Launch, a company providing commercial launch services sending satellites to geostationary orbit from floating platforms.[17] In 2000, Boeing acquired the satellite segment of Hughes Electronics.[2][18]

Merger with McDonnell Douglas edit

In December 1996, Boeing announced its intention to merge with McDonnell Douglas, which, following regulatory approval, was completed on August 4, 1997.[19] The delay was caused by objections from the European Commission, which ultimately placed three conditions on the merger: exclusivity agreements with three US airlines would be terminated, separate accounts would be maintained for the McDonnell-Douglas civil aircraft business, and some defense patents were to be made available to competitors.[20] In 2020, Quartz reported that after the merger there was a "clash of corporate cultures, where Boeing's engineers and McDonnell Douglas's bean-counters went head-to-head", which the latter won, and that this may have contributed to the events leading up to the 737 MAX crash crisis.[21]

Corporate headquarters moves edit

Boeing's corporate headquarters moved from Seattle to Chicago in 2001.[22] In 2018, the company opened its first factory in Europe at Sheffield, UK, reinforced by a research partnership with the University of Sheffield.[23]

In May 2020, the company cut over 12,000 jobs due to the drop in air travel during the COVID-19 pandemic with plans for a total 10% cut of its workforce or approximately 16,000 positions.[24] In July 2020, Boeing reported a loss of $2.4 billion (€2.2B) as a result of the pandemic and the Boeing 737 MAX groundings, and that it was in response planning to make more job and production cuts.[25] On August 18, 2020, CEO Dave Calhoun announced further job cuts;[26] on October 28, 2020, nearly 30,000 employees were laid off, as the airplane manufacturer was increasingly losing money due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[27]

In May 2022, Boeing announced plans to move its global headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. The company said that this decision was made in part to concentrate on its defense work with "proximity to our customers and stakeholders."[28][29]

In February 2023, Boeing announced plans for laying off approximately 2,000 of its workers from finances and human resources.[30]

In May 2023, Boeing acquired autonomous eVTOL air taxi startup Wisk Aero.[31]

Divisions edit

 
Boeing plant in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania

The corporation's four main divisions are Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA), Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS), Boeing Global Services, and Boeing Capital.[32]

Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) builds commercial aircraft including the 737, 747, 767, 777, and 787 along with freighter and business jet variants of most. The division employs nearly 35,000 people, many working at the company's manufacturing facilities in Everett and Renton, Washington (outside of Seattle), and South Carolina.

Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) builds military aircraft, satellites, spacecraft, and space launch vehicles.

Boeing Global Services provides aftermarket support, such as maintenance and upgrades, to customers who purchase equipment from BCA, BDS, or from other manufacturers.

Boeing Capital provides customers financing for the products and services from the company's other divisions.

Safety defects and airplane crashes edit

Boeing 737 MAX crashes and groundings edit

In 2018 and 2019, two Boeing 737 MAX narrow-body passenger airplanes crashed, leaving 346 people dead and no survivors. In response, aviation regulators and airlines around the world grounded all 737 MAX airliners.[33] A total of 387 aircraft were grounded.[34] Boeing's reputation, business, and financial rating suffered after the groundings, as Boeing's strategy, governance, and focus on profits and cost efficiency were questioned.[35][36][37] In 2022, Netflix released an exposé, Downfall: The Case Against Boeing, claiming Boeing's corporate merger with McDonnell Douglas led to the crashes through a disintegration of workplace morale.[38][39][40][41][42]

In June 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration found several 737 MAX defects that Boeing deferred to fix, in violation of regulations.[43] In September 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives concluded its own investigation and cited numerous instances where Boeing dismissed employee concerns with a 737 MAX flight stabilizing feature (MCAS) that caused the two fatal accidents, prioritized deadline and budget constraints over safety, and lacked transparency in disclosing essential information to the FAA. It further found that the assumption that simulator training would not be necessary had "diminished safety, minimized the value of pilot training, and inhibited technical design improvements".[44] On January 7, 2021, Boeing settled to pay over $2.5 billion after being charged with fraud over the company's hiding of information from the safety regulators: a criminal monetary penalty of $243.6 million, $1.77 billion of damages to airline customers, and a $500 million crash-victim beneficiaries fund.[45]

In September 2022, Boeing was ordered to pay a further $200 million (€180M) over charges of misleading investors about safety issues related to these crashes.[46] In March 2023, Boeing disputed in court filings that the victims of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 (the 2019 crash) experienced any pain and suffering in the final six minutes as the plane was nosediving into the ground, citing "speed of sound" as a defence. Boeing's claim was described as "preposterous" by Huffington Post:[47]

Passengers aboard the plane, the plaintiffs argued in court, "undeniably suffered horrific emotional distress, pain and suffering, and physical impact/injury while they endured extreme G-forces, braced for impact, knew the airplane was malfunctioning, and ultimately plummeted nose-down to the ground at terrifying speed."

While the investigations into the crashes of the 737 MAX were proceeding, the Boeing 777X, the company's largest capacity twin jet and the largest ever built, made its maiden flight on January 25, 2020,[48] but also experienced problems. Following an incident during flight testing in 2021, the estimated first delivery of the aircraft was delayed until 2024.[49] After further technical problems were discovered in the aircraft in 2022, the release was delayed again until 2025, six years after the original date.[50][51]

Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 edit

On January 5, 2024, on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, a door plug blowout[52][53] occurred on a 737 MAX 9 jetliner after the plane had reached just over 16,000 feet, leaving a door-sized hole in the fuselage and the aircraft made an emergency landing at Portland International Airport successfully with several people onboard injured, although all had subsequently been "medically cleared".[54] The FAA mandated immediate inspections of all 737 MAX 9s fitted with door plugs, thereby grounding 171 aircraft.[55][56][57] United Airlines found loose bolts on jets grounded by the FAA, raising questions about possible systematic problems with the Boeing 737 MAX 9.[58] The FAA announced on January 12 that it was expanding its scrutiny of Boeing, with a production audit of the 737 MAX 9.[59] On February 6, the National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report indicating that four bolts used to secure the panel had been removed, and appeared not to have been replaced, at Boeing’s factory in Renton, Washington.[60]

Environmental record edit

In 2006, the UCLA Center for Environmental Risk Reduction released a study showing that Boeing's Santa Susana Field Laboratory, a site that was a former Rocketdyne test and development site in the Simi Hills of eastern Ventura County in Southern California, had been contaminated by Rocketdyne with toxic and radioactive waste. Boeing agreed to a cleanup agreement with the EPA in 2017.[61] Clean-up studies and lawsuits are in progress.[62]

On July 19, 2022, Boeing announced a renewed partnership with Mitsubishi to innovate carbon-neutral and sustainable solutions.[63]

Jet biofuels edit

 
Boeing Everett Factory, the assembly facility for most of the company's wide-body aircraft

The airline industry is responsible for about 11% of greenhouse gases emitted by the U.S. transportation sector.[64] Aviation's share of the greenhouse gas emissions was poised to grow, as air travel increases and ground vehicles use more alternative fuels like ethanol and biodiesel.[64] Boeing estimates that biofuels could reduce flight-related greenhouse-gas emissions by 60 to 80%.[64] The solution blends algae fuels with existing jet fuel.[64]

Boeing executives said the company was collaborating with Brazilian biofuels maker Tecbio, Aquaflow Bionomic of New Zealand, and other fuel developers around the world. As of 2007, Boeing had tested six fuels from these companies, and expected to test 20 fuels "by the time we're done evaluating them".[64] Boeing also joined other aviation-related members in the Algal Biomass Organization (ABO) in June 2008.[65]

Air New Zealand and Boeing are researching the jatropha plant to see if it is a sustainable alternative to conventional fuel.[66] A two-hour test flight using a 50–50 mixture of the new biofuel with Jet A-1 in a Rolls-Royce RB-211 engine of a 747–400 was completed on December 30, 2008.[67] The engine was then removed to be studied to identify any differences between the Jatropha blend and regular Jet A1. No effects on performances were found.[67]

On August 31, 2010, Boeing worked with the U.S. Air Force to test the Boeing C-17 running on 50% JP-8, 25% hydro-treated renewable jet fuel, and 25% of Fischer–Tropsch fuel with successful results.[68]

Electric propulsion edit

For NASA's N+3 future airliner program, Boeing has determined that hybrid electric engine technology is by far the best choice for its subsonic design. Hybrid electric propulsion has the potential to shorten takeoff distance and reduce noise. Boeing created a team to study electric propulsion in future generation of subsonic commercial aircraft. SUGAR for Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research includes BR&T, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, General Electric, and Georgia Tech. There are five main concepts the team is reviewing. SUGAR-Free and Refined SUGAR, are two concepts based on conventional aircraft similar to the 737. SUGAR High and SUGAR Volt, are both high-span, strut-based wing concepts. The final concept is SUGAR Ray, which is a wing-body hybrid. The SUGAR Volt concept has resulted in a drop in fuel burn by more than 70 percent and a reduction of total energy use by 55%. This reduction is the result of adding an electric battery gas turbine hybrid propulsion system.[69]

Political contributions, federal contracts, advocacy edit

 
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg and US President Donald Trump at the 787-10 Dreamliner rollout ceremony in 2017

In 2008 and 2009, Boeing was second on the list of Top 100 US Federal Contractors, with contracts totaling US$22 billion (€19.8B) and US$23 billion (€20.7B) respectively.[70][71] Between 1995 and early 2021, the company agreed to pay US$4.3 billion (€3.9B) to settle 84 instances of misconduct, including US$615 million (€554M) in 2006 in relation to illegal hiring of government officials and improper use of proprietary information.[72][73][74]

Boeing secured the highest-ever tax breaks at the state level in 2013.[75]

Boeing's spent US$16.9 million (€15.2M) on lobbying expenditures in 2009.[76][77] In the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama "was by far the biggest recipient of campaign contributions from Boeing employees and executives, hauling in US$197,000 (€177,000) – five times as much as John McCain, and more than the top eight Republicans combined".[78]

Boeing has a corporate citizenship program centered on charitable contributions in five areas: education, health, human services, environment, the arts, culture, and civic engagement.[79] In 2011, Boeing spent US$147.3 million (€133M) in these areas through charitable grants and business sponsorships.[80] In February 2012, Boeing Global Corporate Citizenship partnered with the Insight Labs to develop a new model for foundations to more effectively lead the sectors they serve.[81]

The company is a member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a Washington D.C.-based coalition of more than 400 major companies and NGOs that advocate a larger International Affairs Budget, which funds American diplomatic and development efforts abroad.[82] A series of U.S. diplomatic cables show how U.S. diplomats and senior politicians intervene on behalf of Boeing to help boost the company's sales.[83]

In 2007 and 2008, the company benefited from over US$10 billion (€9B) of long-term loan guarantees, helping finance the purchase of their commercial aircraft in countries including Brazil, Canada, Ireland, and the United Arab Emirates, from the Export-Import Bank of the United States, some 65% of the total loan guarantees the bank made in the period.[84]

Criticism edit

In December 2011, the non-partisan organization Public Campaign criticized Boeing for spending US$52.29 million (€47 million) on lobbying and not paying taxes during 2008–2010, instead getting US$178 million (€160M) in tax rebates, despite making a profit of US$9.7 billion (€8.7B), laying off 14,862 workers since 2008, and increasing executive pay by 31% to US$41.9 million (€37.7M) in 2010 for its top five executives.[85]

Boeing has been accused of unethical practices (in violation of the Procurement Integrity Act) while attempting to submit a revised bid to NASA for their lunar landing project.[86]

War profiteering edit

The firm has been criticized for supplying and profiting from wars, including the war in Yemen where its missiles were found to be used for indiscriminate attacks, killing many civilians.[87][88]

During the 2023 Israel–Hamas war, demonstrations sought to block shipments of weapons for the Israel Defense Forces at Boeing facilities in St. Charles, Missouri,[89] Tukwila, Washington,[90] and Gresham, Oregon.[91] Students at Florida State University,[92] University of Washington,[93] Saint Louis University, University of Missouri–St. Louis, and Washington University in St. Louis[94] called for their institutions to break partnerships with Boeing. Students on hunger strike at Brown University named Boeing among the list of corporations to divest from.[95] The company rushed 1,000 small diameter bombs for the first week of Israeli air attacks on Gaza that were shipped from a US Air Force base by Israeli Air Force.[96] Research estimates that Boeing has made between $50 billion (45 mld. €) to $100 billion (90 mld. €) from weapon sales to Israel.[91]

Financials edit

For the fiscal year 2017, Boeing reported earnings of US$8.191 billion (€7,4B), with annual revenue of US$93.392 billion (€84,09B), a 1.25% decline over the previous fiscal cycle. Boeing's shares traded at over $209 (€188.19) per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over US$206.6 billion (€186B).[97]

Year Revenue
in million US$
Net earnings/(loss)
in mil. US$
Price per Share
in US$
Employees
2005 53,621[98] 2,572 45.42
2006 61,530[99] 2,215 59.20
2007 66 387[100] 4,074 71.05
2008 60,909 2,672 50.76
2009 68,281[101] 1 312 35.73
2010 64,306[102] 3,298 53.89
2011 68,735[103] 4,009 58.20
2012 81 698[104] 3,900 62.65
2013 86 623[105] 4,578 90.39 168,400
2014 90,762[106] 5,440 114.72 165,500
2015 96,114[107] 5,172 131.43 161,400
2016 94 571[108] 4,892 125.66 150,500
2017 93,392[109] 8,191 209.85 140,800
2018 101,127[110] 10,460 319.05 153,000
2019 76,559[111] (636) 325.76
2020 58,158[112] (11,941) 311.11[113] 141,014[114]
2021 62,286[115] (4,290)[115]
2022 66,608[116] (5,053)[116] 156,000[116]
2023 77,794[4] (2,242)[4] 171,000[4]

Between 2010 and 2018, Boeing increased its operating cash flow from $3 to $15.3 billion (€2.7 to 13.78B), sustaining its share price, by negotiating advance payments from customers and delaying payments to its suppliers. This strategy is sustainable only as long as orders are good and delivery rates are increasing.[117]

From 2013 to 2019, Boeing spent over $60 billion (€54B) on dividends and stock buybacks, twice as much as the development costs of the 787.[118]

In 2020, Boeing's second quarter revenue was $11.8 billion (€10.6B) as a result of the pandemic slump. Due to higher sales in other divisions and an influx in deliveries of commercial jetliners in 2021, second quarter revenue increased by 44%, reaching nearly $17 billion (€15.3B).[119]

Employment numbers edit

The company's employment totals are listed below.

Approximately 1.5% of Boeing employees are in the Technical Fellowship program, a program through which Boeing's top engineers and scientists set technical direction for the company.[121] The average salary at Boeing is $76,784 (€69,136), reported by former employees.[122]

Corporate governance edit

In 2022, Rory Kennedy made a documentary film, Downfall: The Case Against Boeing, streamed by Netflix.[38] She said about the 21st-century history of Boeing "There were many decades when Boeing did extraordinary things by focusing on excellence and safety and ingenuity. Those three virtues were seen as the key to profit. It could work, and beautifully. And then they were taken over by a group that decided Wall Street was the end-all, be-all."[39]

On May 5, 2022, Boeing announced that it would be moving its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Additionally, it plans to add a research and technology center in Northern Virginia.[123]

Board edit

As of 2022, Boeing is headed by a President who also serves as the chief executive officer. The roles of chairman of the board and CEO were separated in October 2019.[124]

Chairman of the Board
Name Background
Lawrence W. Kellner Former Chairman and CEO, Continental Airlines, Inc.
Board of Directors
Name Background
Robert A. Bradway Chairman and CEO, Amgen, Inc.
David L. Calhoun President and CEO, The Boeing Company
Lynne M. Doughttie Former U.S. Chairman and CEO, KPMG
ADM Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr.(retd) Former Vice-chairman, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff

Former Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, NATO

Lynn J. Good Chairman, President and CEO, Duke Energy Corporation
Lt Gen Stayce D. Harris (retd) Former United Airlines Pilot

Former Inspector General, U.S. Air Force

Akhil Johri Former Executive Vice-president and CFO, United Technologies Corporation
David L. Joyce Former President and CEO, GE Aviation

Former Vice-chair, General Electric Company

Steven M. Mollenkopf Former CEO, Qualcomm Inc.
ADM John M. Richardson (retd) Former Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy

Former Director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, U.S. Navy

Ronald A. Williams Former Chairman, President and CEO, Aetna, Inc.

Past leadership edit

Chief Executive Officer President Chairman
N/A Position not created N/A Position not created 1916–1934 William E. Boeing
1922–1925 Edgar N. Gott[125]
1926–1933 Philip G. Johnson
1933–1939 Clairmont L. Egtvedt[126] 1933–1939 Clairmont L. Egtvedt
1934–1968 Clairmont L. Egtvedt
1939–1944 Philip G. Johnson 1939–1944 Philip G. Johnson
1944–1945 Clairmont L. Egtvedt 1944–1945 Clairmont L. Egtvedt
1945–1968 William M. Allen 1945–1968 William M. Allen
1969–1986 Thornton A. Wilson 1968–1972 Thornton A. Wilson 1968–1972 William M. Allen
1972–1985 Malcolm T. Stamper 1972–1987 Thornton A. Wilson
1985–1996 Frank Shrontz
1986–1996 Frank Shrontz[127] 1988–1996 Frank Shrontz
1996–2003 Philip M. Condit 1996–1997 Philip M. Condit 1997–2003 Philip M. Condit
1997–2005 Harry C. Stonecipher
2003–2005 Harry C. Stonecipher 2003–2005 Lewis E. Platt
2005 James A. Bell (acting) 2005 James A. Bell (acting)
2005–2015 James McNerney 2005–2013 James McNerney 2005–2016 James McNerney
2013–2019 Dennis Muilenburg[128]
2015–2019 Dennis Muilenburg[129] 2016–2019 Dennis Muilenburg
2019 David L. Calhoun
2020–present David L. Calhoun 2020–present David L. Calhoun 2019–present Lawrence W. Kellner

See also edit

References edit

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Further reading edit

  • Cloud, Dana L. We Are the Union: Democratic Unionism and Dissent at Boeing. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2011. OCLC 816419078
  • Greider, William. One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism. London: Penguin Press, 1998. OCLC 470412225
  • Reed, Polly. Capitalist Family Values: Gender, Work, and Corporate Culture at Boeing. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2015. OCLC 931949091
  • Sell, Terry M. Wings of Power: Boeing and the Politics of Growth in the Northwest (U of Washington Press, 2015) ISBN 9780295996257

External links edit

  • Official website  
  • Business data for Boeing Co:
    • Google
    • SEC filings
    • Yahoo!
  • "Annual Reports Collection". University of Washington. 1948–1984.