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Friday, October 31, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Key changes at Boeing airplane unit

Seattle Times aerospace reporter

The senior vice president of airplane programs within Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Jim Jamieson, is moving to Chicago to become Boeing's chief technical officer (CTO), the company announced yesterday.

In his place, Mike Cave, 43, a former McDonnell Douglas executive with a financial-management background, will take charge of commercial-jet programs.

Jamieson, 55, a longtime Seattle resident with 27 years of service in the commercial-jet unit, will manage Boeing's strategic investments in technology and lead Phantom Works, the company's advanced research and development unit.

He'll also oversee projects to promote innovation and relationships with external research organizations.

The CTO position has been vacant since July. Following heavy financial hits to Boeing's California-based space unit, then-CTO Dave Swain was tapped to fix the problems. He moved to a newly created post as chief operating officer of the Integrated Defense Systems division.

Jamieson now joins Boeing's top-level Strategy Council, a team of 10 executives that maps out the corporation's long-term direction.

This elite group includes Swain as well as Boeing Chairman Phil Condit and Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Alan Mulally. The other members are Chief Financial Officer Mike Sears; Integrated Defense Systems CEO Jim Albaugh; the company's top lawyer, Douglas Bain; Rudy deLeon, who heads government operations; chief people and administration officer Laurette Koellner; and the head of communications, Tod Hullin.

Jamieson previously led Boeing's single-aisle airplane programs, served as general manager of the 737/757 programs, and headed aircraft systems and interiors before his elevation to head of airplane programs.

In that post, just below Mulally, he began major overhauls of production systems, including starting moving assembly lines.

Cave joined Boeing from McDonnell Douglas with the 1997 merger of the two companies. He began his career in St. Louis, then moved to Long Beach, Calif., where in 1990 he took charge of business management on the financially troubled C-17 military cargo-jet program.

Historically, the Douglas division of McDonnell Douglas had focused on design and engineering excellence. But at that time it was bleeding money.

"Business management became one of the things they needed to pay more attention to," said Jack La Rue, former head of marketing to Asia at Long Beach. "He (Cave) was a bright guy, a good manager and people liked him."

Cave rose rapidly and became chief financial officer in the Long Beach commercial-jet division.

After the merger, he became a vice president of finance in the California-based Information, Space and Defense Systems unit, where he worked under Mulally, then on hiatus from Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

When Mulally returned to Seattle to head Boeing Commercial Airplanes in 1998, he brought Cave with him.

By 2000, Cave was the unit's chief financial officer.

Earlier this year, he took over the Commercial Aviation Services division.

Cave's focus throughout his 20 in the industry has been finance and business management, important credentials in the current downturn for a company focused tightly on bottom-line efficiencies.

Cave's replacement as head of Commercial Aviation Services is Louis Mancini, 53, who joined the unit last year after holding senior technical positions with United and Northwest.

Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or dgates@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2003 The Seattle Times Company

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