McNerney apologizes for ‘cowering’ remark

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney apologized Friday in a companywide message for telling analysts this week that he won’t retire after turning 65 next month because “the heart will still be beating, the employees will still be cowering.”

McNerney’s message called the remark, made Wednesday at the end of a conference call about the company’s quarterly results, “a joke gone bad.”

The comment struck some workers as insensitive. Machinists union international president Tom Buffenbarger issued a statement Friday decrying the “unfunny and unnecessary remarks” as a “reminder that the Jack Welch style of anti-personnel management is still alive and well at Boeing.”

“If he is able to get his foot out of his mouth, the very next thing we hear from Mr. McNerney should be a sincere apology to all employees at Boeing,” Buffenbarger said.

Boeing spokesman John Dern said McNerney had earlier communicated directly with some employees who were upset by his comment, and then posted the message for the entire workforce. He said McNerney’s message went out before the Machinists called for him to apologize.

McNerney’s message says in part, “I was simply trying to make light of my age and tenure at the company on a question that I have been asked at least a dozen times over the past several weeks alone. … There was no intent to slight anyone but myself, and the last thing on my mind was to characterize my relationship with Boeing employees in any negative way.”

It continues: “I should have used different words, and I apologize for them. I will definitely be more careful going forward.”

More in Herald Business Journal

An Alaska Airlines Embraer 175. The carrier plans to use this model on routes to and from Paine Field in Everett. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines hopes to be a decent neighbor in Everett

Diana Birkett Rakow shared aspects of the company’s philosophy as keynote at an Economic Alliance event.

Aerospace supplier MTorres is taking off in Everett

Spanish company has received nearly $40 million in new projects since opening near Boeing in Everett.

US manufacturers have produced 150 million guns since 1986

The vast majority of all U.S.-produced firearms were sold domestically.

Safe saves Everett Office Furniture’s future after fire

The business was able to reopen because vital paperwork was preserved.

Economists: Trump’s infrastructure math off by 98 percent

One study found that states increase total spending by $1.06 for every federal dollar received.

More than 60 Boeing 737s per month: Can suppliers keep up?

There was lots of talk this week about the prudence and pressures of soaring production rates.

Developer proposes an 18-story building in Lynnwood

It would be the second-tallest in the county and include apartments with retail space.

Snohomish County business licenses

PLEASE NOTE: Business license information is obtained monthly from the Washington Secretary… Continue reading

New Everett mayor speaks out about business in city, region

Q&A: Cassie Franklin on what can be done to get Boeing to build the 797 here and attract new industries.

Most Read