Boeing has picked Niel Golightly as its new SVP of comms, replacing Anne Toulouse, who is retiring next year.
In a statement issued Monday, Boeing said Golightly will start in the new role Jan. 1. He initially reports to interim CEO (and CFO) Greg Smith and then to David Calhoun after he assumes president and CEO duties Jan. 13.
Calhoun’s hire was announced December 23, when the company also revealed that existing CEO and Board director Dennis Muilenburg had resigned in reaction to the crisis involving the 737 Max jet. Smith was tapped to handle CEO duties until Calhoun starts.
Two planes of that make crashed earlier this year in separate incidents that collectively killed more than 300 people.
Golightly had previously been CCO for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles since 2018. Fiat Chrysler did not immediately comment on Golightly’s departure. The former Navy fighter pilot joins the company as it looks to safely return the 737 Max to service and restore trust around the globe.
In an emailed statement, Golightly said "This is a chance to return to my roots in aerospace and defense for an iconic company with a critical mission. The fact that the team there is navigating through a particularly challenging time makes joining them that much more motivating."
Toulouse was hired as a VP of communications at Boeing in 2005, replacing Larry McCracken, who was retiring.
Toulouse’s departure marked the second executive comms departure at the aerospace company last month. VP Linda Mills, who previously oversaw comms for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, recently left the company. Conrad Chun took over for Mills as VP of comms for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.