On Monday, Boeing (BA.N.) announced that it had appointed Stephanie Pope, a firm veteran, to the newly established post of chief operational officer. This appointment is expected to make her one of the leading candidates to succeed David Calhoun as CEO of the company if he decides to step down from his current position.
At the moment, Pope is in charge of the corporation’s after-market business, which is known as Boeing Global Services (BGS). This particular division was the only one to declare a profit during the first nine months of this year. This is because supply chain concerns and cost overruns were a drag on the company’s other two units: commercial and military jets.
Boeing said that Pope would take up the position beginning January 1 and that she would oversee commercial aircraft manufacturing and military operations. According to the statement, the individual who will succeed her as the leader of BGS will be announced later.
The Wall Street Journal first reported Pope’s promotion to chief operating officer. According to sources, Calhoun, who has led Boeing through one of its most challenging stages in decades following overlapping safety and pandemic-induced problems, is anticipated to continue in the top role until about 2025-2026 to supervise the company’s financial recovery.
To provide Calhoun with sufficient time to shepherd the planemaker through its recovery process following a series of blunders, the planemaker increased the required retirement age for Calhoun from 65 to 70 in April 2021. The board of directors of Boeing awarded Calhoun a $5 million incentive in February, which will become fully vested in 2025.
From the time he started working at Boeing in 1994 to the present day, Pope has been actively involved in all three of the company’s most important divisions.
In earlier positions, she served as the commercial aircraft company’s chief financial officer, finance vice president, and controller of the Defense, Space, and Security division of Boeing Aerospace.
When April 2022 rolled around, she became the new head of BGS. To meet the needs of Boeing’s commercial and defense clients, the company offers various services, including engineering, maintenance and modifications, upgrades and conversions, and spare parts.
“Stephanie brings tremendous operational, financial, and customer experience to this (COO) role,” stated Calhoun in a statement at the time of the employment announcement.
According to Sheila Kahyaoglu, an analyst at Jefferies, during Pope’s time as CEO of Boeing Global Services (BGS), the company has developed into “a superstar unit at Boeing in terms of operational excellence.”
Her appointment as chief operating officer “puts the potential future CEO in front of investors, customers, and stakeholders ahead of any official transition.”
If Pope is appointed chief executive officer, she will be the first woman to hold that position in the history of Boeing.
A meeting of Boeing’s board of directors took place recently to explore potential successors to Calhoun, according to sources inside the company. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Brian West, and Stan Deal, who is in charge of its commercial aircraft division, were also considered for the position.