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How Boeing lost their way

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How Boeing lost their way

Old 25th Nov 2019, 14:19
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pittsspecialguy View Post
I am probably the only person on this forum who worked closely with every executive mentioned here ... To have a bunch of pilots who know zero about running huge corporations to denigrate them on this forum is disgusting.
Ah, good morning Mr Muilenburg.

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Old 25th Nov 2019, 16:35
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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Devil

Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
Ah, good morning Mr Muilenburg.
It looks like he may have extra free time now that he's not burdened with all that extra board chairman busy work.
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Old 25th Nov 2019, 16:46
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Beancounters

Originally Posted by pittsspecialguy View Post
Expanding: I am probably the only person on this forum who worked closely with every executive mentioned here and in this very dubious article. All of them were dedicated people who wanted to maintain Boeing’s commitment to excellence. To sideline them as avaricious people putting profit and personal gain before safety is insane. What possible reason could they have to do this? Most of them graduated the hard way, through years of gruelling work. They were and are great people. To have a bunch of pilots who know zero about running huge corporations to denigrate them on this forum is disgusting. Plus, it’s an insult to the many guys and girls on the shop floor who build your aircraft. I know many of them and they are probably as mad as I am about the ongoing Boeing-bashing on this forum. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.
is what Muilenburg and the rest of these gentlemen are. They have no Aviation technical insight, or even interest it seems. Those gentlemen are responsible for destroying the reputation of a once great company. What your relation is with these people is, is irrelevant. Every CEO and boardmember since the infameous Mr Stonecipher has a lot to answer for.
In this industry beancounters will not be very respected.
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Old 25th Nov 2019, 16:49
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Diavel View Post

is what Muilenburg and the rest of these gentlemen are. They have no Aviation technical insight, or even interest it seems. Those gentlemen are responsible for destroying the reputation of a once great company. What your relation is with these people is, is irrelevant. Every CEO and boardmember since the infameous Mr Stonecipher has a lot to answer for.
In this industry beancounters will not be very respected.
Muilenburg was an engineer. That means he has even less excuse than the bean-counters.

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Old 25th Nov 2019, 16:52
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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.............................In this industry beancounters will not be very respected.[/QUOTE]
Or any ‘industry’ except their own myopic, self centred world.
David
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Old 25th Nov 2019, 18:38
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Fair enough

Originally Posted by OldnGrounded View Post
Muilenburg was an engineer. That means he has even less excuse than the bean-counters.
You are absolutely right, but Muilenburg behaves exactly like a typical beancounter.
I am quite sure he is not an engineer from the aeronautical industry, at least I hope not.
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Old 25th Nov 2019, 18:46
  #67 (permalink)  
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This whole saga starts to look like the GM story , I hope Boeing does not end the same way..
September 16, 1908 - General Motors Company is founded

1942-1945 - GM produces vehicles and weapons for use by the US military during World War II.

1954 - General Motors accounts for 54% of the auto market in the United States, up from 12% in 1921.

1971, GM pioneered the use of engines that could run on low-lead or unleaded petrol. Two years later it was the first to offer a car with an air bag and in 1974, it introduced the catalytic converter to reduce emissions.

The manufacturer helped develop the guidance and navigation system for the first Moon landing aboard Apollo 11, and designed and manufactured the Lunar Roving Vehicle for Apollo 15 – the first vehicle driven on the Moon.

1995, annual vehicle sales outside North America exceeded 3m units for the first time, while 5m vehicles were sold in the US and GM embarked on its first joint venture in China. Buick became China's most popular automotive brand.

2012 - GM is officially the top automobile manufacturer in the world. Nine million vehicles sold in 2011 helped to make it the largest automaker in China also.

2014 - GM expands a recall of compact cars to 1.37 million vehicles built between 2003 and 2007, due to possible ignition problems. Thirteen people have died in accidents.

2014 - GM releases the results of an internal probe relating to delayed recalls and the deaths of at least 13 people. GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra announces that 15 employees have been dismissed and five more have been disciplined.

2015 - GM's faulty ignition switch caused 124 deaths, according to a final report from the attorney administering funds to accident victims.

2017 - Says it's selling its European business for $2.3 billion to France's PSA, the maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, and announces it is laying off 1,100 workers in Michigan

2018 - GM announces that it will shut down production at five facilities in North America and cut its staff, reducing its salaried workforce by 15%.

source : cnn , the whole timeline is here : GM facts
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Old 25th Nov 2019, 19:19
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Diavel View Post

You are absolutely right, but Muilenburg behaves exactly like a typical beancounter.
I am quite sure he is not an engineer from the aeronautical industry, at least I hope not.
Unfortunately,
Wikipedia
Muilenburg grew up on a farm in Iowa.[2]He graduated in 1982 from Sioux Center High School in Sioux Center, Iowa.[3] He received a bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University, followed by a master's degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Washington.[1]
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Old 25th Nov 2019, 19:28
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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Any engineer or executive can be pardoned for not being up to the task, but if this is confirmed, he can't definitively be "a great guy" :
Wikipedia

On March 12, President Donald Trump spoke to Muilenburg and received assurances that the aircraft was safe.[10]
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-e...-idUSKBN1QT2MQ

Last edited by Fly Aiprt; 25th Nov 2019 at 20:32. Reason: Typo
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Old 25th Nov 2019, 20:14
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Fly Aiprt View Post
Any engineer or executive can be pardoned for not being up to the task, but if this confirmed, he can't definitively be "a great guy" :
Wikipedia

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-e...-idUSKBN1QT2MQ
I think it's true. It was reported rather widely.
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Old 25th Nov 2019, 22:28
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pittsspecialguy View Post
First, it’s Denis Muilenburg. Check your spelling. And yes, I worked with him and all CEOs back to 2000. PM me for proof. If he was sub-standard in his presentations, I can tell you that it was probably because he was just downright, old fashioned nervous. He’s an old—school guy and does not like PR spin. He tried his best. Even CEOs are not super-heroes and I doubt if he would want to gloss over anything. He’s too honest. I am convinced that he and Stan Deal will help to recover Boeing. They are decent human beings.

I'm absolutely sure he's a great guy. However, he is trying to steer a giant company by numbers and probably has a bunch of goals defined by the shareholders. He probably got the same problem as the guy with the peanut rack from another post, namely cost allocation. Safety is similar to IT: it's a cost center, but without it, you're f*cked. (I work in IT, I've seen what happens when a bean counter outsources critical parts of IT: no helpdesk, just a call center. Engineer's workstation broke. Took the contracting company a few days to set him up with a new one. All of a sudden, outsourcing is expensive, but nobody will admit to it...)

Second, I am not going to apologise for emotional language about a company I love. What especially grates with me is the commentary on this board that ultimately would affect thousands of blue collar workers who put their hearts and souls into building your aircraft. I am not going to comment on tools etc. Because I am honest enough to say I know nothing on this.
If you read the comments, you might have noticed that most of these blue collar workers are considered blameless for the situation.

Third, I made little comments re airplane design. I referred to pilots commenting on how to run a huge corporation. You guys run your office well. So how about a bigger office? The only pilot I know who now runs a corporation is Willle Walsh. So how about it guys, what’s your comment on that and let’s imagine you are now CEO of Boeing. What would you do next? — cue silence or do you all have the cojones to reply that one?!
I don't think a pilot should run Boeing. However, a pilot should have at least an equal say in the running of an airline. Maybe Boeing should be led by a team consisting of a pilot, an engineer and a guy who knows finance. I suspect Dennis was not qualified enough to keep the bean counters at bay, and not bold enough to make decisions that might not endear him to the shareholders but improve the long-term viability of the company. As someone else said, start on a new narrowbody, maybe even build a "mini-widebody" that is efficient enough to capture narrowbody marketshare. (Imagine a Do-328 Jet, just scaled up to 737 dimensions, with a high wing and 787 (like) engines. Maybe some fuselage sections designed for the 787 could be reused?)

Maybe establish a new Skunkworks to work on some really far-out ideas, e.g. a flying wing as long and wide as a 787, possibly with solar cells on top, a bunch of batteries and jet engines that are only spooled up during takeoff and landing... maybe re-visit some ideas from the past that were discarded because they were not viable with the technology back then but might be today...

I'm not even a pilot impersonator, I'm just SLF, but I'm interested in aviation and full of ideas.
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Old 26th Nov 2019, 00:08
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Muilenburg isn't completely blameless, but dumping this on him is rather unfair. When he became CEO in 2015, the MAX was already well along the development cycle, and more importantly he inherited twenty years of culture and communication problems that Condit started, and Stonecipher reinforced. Condit set in place a culture of questionable ethics and a "shoot the messenger" mentality that crippled the ability to communicate issues up the management ladder - and he did it amazingly quickly. The 'shoot the messenger' mentality was a huge part of the 787 train wreck - and even infected the 747-8 program. First hand knowledge on the 747-8 - we had a good chief engineer that I respected and that listened. He came to me at one point - noting that my system was on the critical path for first flight - and if I needed more resources to tell him and he'd make sure I got whatever I needed. But he made the mistake of telling the higher ups that we were behind schedule, resulting in his being demoted and replaced with someone from Long Beach who told the higher ups what they wanted to hear (and promptly blessed a cut my headcount). Of course that didn't help our schedule issues which got way worse with the new chief engineer...
I was actually seeing some signs of things getting better in the year after Muilenburg become CEO before I retired, but it may have been too late to prevent the problems with the MAX.
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Old 26th Nov 2019, 05:24
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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This is addressed to pittspecialguy:
I am not a pilot. I do not pretend to be a pilot. I would not normally intervene, but you might like feedback on your intervention on your customers' customers, pax.

I now conclude that Boeing would rather deal with its problems by hiring internet trolls and professional debaters to attack its critics, than to address issues at source.

I once had to persuade myself that it was, actually, perfectly all right to fly on an aeroplane even if it wasn't made by Boeing. Now, I shall avoid Boeing aircraft whenever possible (except, of course, the 747).

It is not a question of personalities: the failures of Boeing, like those of many once-good companies, is the modern doctrine that the only target for a company is maximizing shareholder value, and the tendency to judge this on a very short timeframe. So it is a legally mandated requirement for management, NOT to put safety as a first priority, but to consider how many accidents to tolerate before the cost of compensation exceeds the cost of avoiding them.

Some people I know call this the crisis of late, or financial, capitalism. Some people think it is a result of the demonstrated tendency of management structures to encourage the rise of people with sociopathic tendencies. I wouldn't know. I just know that attacking the people who have to fly the things doesn't increase my confidence in the company you apparently love.
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Old 26th Nov 2019, 06:29
  #74 (permalink)  
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The CEO balances the needs of the operation with the requirements of the investors. Modern business has a view towards a very short horizon, which is why managers are given incentives towards short term outcomes, that is the consequence of the investors ADHD event horizon. Around the beginning of the year, the manufacturer had a pretty fair understanding of the issues involved, but determined in the manner that we have grown accustomed to, to emphasise the frailties of the human side of the operation. Even post the second accident, the response was biased towards the human causation in operations rather than design and certification issues. The CEO was following tried and proven responses of corporations with a myopic eye on shareholder value. Recognising, admitting and rectifying the underlying issue is a big step for the CEO but that is what he gets paid the big money to do, and what he ultimately needs to do for the preservation of shareholder value beyond the end of the days news cycle. The response to date may be disappointing, but hardly unusual.
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Old 26th Nov 2019, 06:57
  #75 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by FlightlessParrot View Post
This is addressed to pittspecialguy:
I am not a pilot. I do not pretend to be a pilot. I would not normally intervene, but you might like feedback on your intervention on your customers' customers, pax.

I now conclude that Boeing would rather deal with its problems by hiring internet trolls and professional debaters to attack its critics, than to address issues at source.

I once had to persuade myself that it was, actually, perfectly all right to fly on an aeroplane even if it wasn't made by Boeing. Now, I shall avoid Boeing aircraft whenever possible (except, of course, the 747).

It is not a question of personalities: the failures of Boeing, like those of many once-good companies, is the modern doctrine that the only target for a company is maximizing shareholder value, and the tendency to judge this on a very short timeframe. So it is a legally mandated requirement for management, NOT to put safety as a first priority, but to consider how many accidents to tolerate before the cost of compensation exceeds the cost of avoiding them.

Some people I know call this the crisis of late, or financial, capitalism. Some people think it is a result of the demonstrated tendency of management structures to encourage the rise of people with sociopathic tendencies. I wouldn't know. I just know that attacking the people who have to fly the things doesn't increase my confidence in the company you apparently love.
I would think that the people on this forum who have participated from this thread from day one would likely agree (as I do) with your comments.
Having reviewed the congressional hearings, I am aghast that the current CEO would have no knowledge of the following (not in any particular order and random thoughts);

1) Law suits pertaining to Lion Air/ ET being heard in respective Countries other than the USA
2) No knowledge of Boeing share price (even though this is shown on the home page on the intranet of ALL Boeing PC's when the user logs in!)
3) No knowledge of problems with flight test and current MCAS issues

I am also truly concerned that Mr."M" hasn't shown much or any emotions in any of the video press releases after the crashes, or at the Congressional hearings, with regard to the families who lost relatives in those crashes.
Furthermore, Mr. "M" didn't come across to the viewer as a CEO or leader of a huge Corporation, as he stumbled and had a hard time answering basic questions from the floor; he seemed quite embarrassed about the whole affair!
Perhaps the Boeing Board should have also been interviewed at the hearings!
Lastly, to bring closure to these horrible events, Boeing's top Management and board need to go, so a new set of eyes and ears can control ethics, quality and chart a new course for a "once" great Company!

Back to my regular spot........

Last edited by 568; 26th Nov 2019 at 06:59. Reason: text
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Old 26th Nov 2019, 15:16
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pittsspecialguy View Post
Expanding: I am probably the only person on this forum who worked closely with every executive mentioned here and in this very dubious article. All of them were dedicated people who wanted to maintain Boeing’s commitment to excellence. To sideline them as avaricious people putting profit and personal gain before safety is insane. What possible reason could they have to do this? Most of them graduated the hard way, through years of gruelling work. They were and are great people. To have a bunch of pilots who know zero about running huge corporations to denigrate them on this forum is disgusting. Plus, it’s an insult to the many guys and girls on the shop floor who build your aircraft. I know many of them and they are probably as mad as I am about the ongoing Boeing-bashing on this forum. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.
We can only go by the results. Profits up, share price up, 346 people dead and Boeing's biggest money-maker grounded for 8 months and counting, with net negative sales in that period.
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Old 26th Nov 2019, 15:52
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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I am no expert in big business or finance, but the MCAS debacle seems to be an example of what happens when shareholders and/or the money people - those with no understanding of designing and making the product - have too much authority over a company.

It’s a bit like unions. Workers need support and protection, but some unions become much too powerful, and have too much say in the running of a company, (or indeed a political party).

Boeing seem to have lost authority over their own company and appear to have lost sight of what constitutes a safe system, or practice. Repeatedly churning out revamps of the same restricted airframe was also questionable, despite the pressure from SouthWest etc.
.
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Old 26th Nov 2019, 17:14
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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One must mention previous US government FAA budget funding shortcomings going back decades which prevented regulatory oversight as a contributory and causal factor in this whole debacle. The whole process of self certification by the manufacturers themselves , of aircraft construction and design must never be allowed again. In short , the FAA , and the US government are themselves accountable.
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Old 26th Nov 2019, 17:38
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Originally Posted by Fly Aiprt View Post
Didn't we hear somewhere that the KC-46 MCAS was totally different from that of the MAX, apart from the name ?
When it suited Boeing's it was, but when it didn't it wasn't anymore.

As for PSGs comments, they are totally at odds with demonstrated facts. Facts are, that the Boeing leadership all the way back to the MacDac merger has been an unbroken line of the sociopaths from the GE school of cost cutting at all costs, which is so beloved by the most short sighted, greedy and incompetent twats on this planet: Money people (stock brokers, hedge fund managers, whatever they like to call themselves).

They might be nice people over a beer in the evening, but from 9 to 5 their actions speak a totally different language.

How's this for a thought: Boeing has not had a successful launch of any aircraft, new or derived, since the 777. Following the 787 the mantra was 'no more moonshots' which, I think anybody with just a smidgen of aviation insight will agree to, is exactly what is needed roughly every 20 years. But that doesn't make Wall Street happy and, in turn, doesn't make managers millionaires with the haste they're seeking.
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Old 26th Nov 2019, 18:04
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SMT Member View Post

How's this for a thought: Boeing has not had a successful launch of any aircraft, new or derived, since the 777.
When you consider the lack of real progression with the 737NG, the very sad incidents and the subsequent behaviours coming out of Boeing with the MAX, and then further consider onboard fires/engine issues/windscreen issues and the quite substantial still evident “teething problems” with the 787, it’s difficult to argue with this statement. The 777 is clearly a magnificent aircraft, and to many observers, the last successful introduction the Boeing managed.

Something has changed since the introduction of the triple. If you take the recent to mid term as a snapshot, it is something quite remarkable too. How does a company go from having the ability to bring something as high standard overall as the 777 then latterly offer the 787 and the 737NG then the pretty much total disaster that is the MAX.

I had it pointed out the other day how ironic the latest 737 marketing name is to its actual suggested current situation.

Unfortunately for the company, it may be the case that the mess could have that much latent momentum now that it will take serious political intervention to keep the company running in its current guise.

It is clearly a very very sad situation to witness.
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