Oct 14 Boeing Co announced the new sales
chief for its commercial airplanes division on Friday as the
U.S. planemaker and Europe's Airbus battle over dwindling jet
The Chicago-based company named Ihssane Mounir as
vice-president of sales and marketing, succeeding company
veteran John Wojick who turned 60 this year and who plans to
retire after overseeing record-quick sales of around 5,000
The changeover will take effect early in 2017, Boeing said,
confirming a decision first reported by Bloomberg News.
Mounir, 44, currently spearheads sales in North Asia
including China, which has become a key battleground against
Europe's Airbus and is on course to overtake the United States
as the world's largest aviation market in coming years.
The Moroccan-born engineer, who emigrated to the United
States as a teenager and trained as an aerodynamicist, has also
been involved in key battles over airplane sales in Japan.
His promotion makes him one of the two most powerful sales
executives in aviation alongside Airbus veteran John Leahy, who
celebrated Airbus's 10,000th delivery earlier on Friday.
Boeing faces an increasing challenge from Airbus in
the market for short-haul jets that generate most of the cash
for the world's largest planemakers, while defending a lead in
the market for long-haul jets.
Industry sources say Leahy, 66, is expected to retire around
the end of 2017 or early 2018, with Indian-born salesman Kiran
Rao tipped as his most likely successor.
Highlighting the importance of Asia in jetliner competition,
market sources say future rivals Mounir and Rao have both racked
up significant sales in the region and are seen as low-key
negotiators capable of lightning footwork to win a deal.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher; editing by Susan Thomas)