CHICAGO: Boeing has promoted Conrad Chun to VP of communications for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The last person to oversee comms for Boeing Commercial Airplanes was Linda Mills, a veteran of Starbucks who joined the company in February 2018. Mills declined to comment.
Replacing Mills in the role, Chun will continue to report to Anne Toulouse, SVP of comms, and Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, according to a company statement.
One of Chun’s focuses will be helping Boeing prepare to "safely return" its controversial 737 Max airplane back to business, the statement said.
The 737 Max was grounded in the U.S. through an executive order by President Donald Trump after Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed in March and killed 157 passengers and crew. It was the second crash in five months involving the jet after the Lion Air 610 crash, which killed all 189 people aboard.
Boeing expects the 737 Max to return to the air this year, but U.S. airliners doubt this forecast, according to CNBC.
Most recently, Chun was VP of comms for Boeing Global Services. He oversaw media relations, employee comms, executive comms, digital comms, government relations, customer relations, as well as product and services marketing comms.
Alexa Marrero, director of comms operations for Boeing Global Services, will fill in for Chun while Boeing looks for a permanent replacement.
Chun was previously director of comms for Boeing Global Services and Boeing Military Aircraft.
The grounding of the top-selling 737 Max has made a steep cut into Boeing’s earnings. Its Q3 profits plunged by more than 50% and revenue skidded 20%. Boeing works with Sard Verbinnen & Co. and Edelman, along with other PR agencies.
A Boeing representative wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Last month, reports emerged that a Boeing pilot complained to a colleague he had problems with a flight control system two years before the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes. Boeing said it has since fixed the software.