Jim Phillips, vice president and general manager of the Boeing [NYSE:BA] 717 program and Long Beach Commercial Site, will retire after a 36-year career. Pat McKenna, 717 program director, will be promoted to vice president & general manager. The leadership change is effective August 9.
McKenna will manage 717 program operations, lead sales campaigns and implement continuing program improvements. "Pat has extraordinary knowledge of the program, the customers and the marketplace," said Phillips. "I am confident that we have the right leadership team in place to lead the 717 program into the future."
The single-aisle 717 is the best selling aircraft in the 100- to 120-seat class. In total, Boeing projects the industry will procure approximately 25,000 new commercial airplanes during the next 20 years. Fifty-nine percent, or 14,770, are expected to be single-aisle aircraft.
"The 717 is the perfect aircraft to satisfy the 100 ? 120 seat industry need," said McKenna. "The 717 is the most efficient and technologically advanced aircraft in this market space and we are working to improve it even further."
Phillips joined McDonnell Douglas in 1968 as an engineer/scientist in the Douglas Aircraft Power Plant Group. He served in various engineering positions including MD-80/DC-9 chief design engineer. He ultimately was named vice president and deputy general manager of the MD-80/MD-90/DC-9 division, and served as the vice president & general manager of the McDonnell Douglas Commercial Product Support division. He has led the 717 program since the merger of Boeing and McDonnell Douglas in 1997.
McKenna has been with the company for 18 years. He has held several key 717 positions and has served as Operations Director for the MD-11 and MD-80/90 wing programs in Toronto, Canada. He holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of South Florida and a J.D. from Washington University.
Seating approximately 100 -- 120 passengers, the 717 is designed to achieve maximum operational efficiency on high-frequency, short-to-medium haul flights. The 717 is unsurpassed in operational reliability, life-cycle costs, environmental advantages and passenger comfort.
More than 125 717s are currently operating in revenue service.