Stockholders call all the shots

Cry not for the loss of the 787 to South Carolina — it doesn’t fly anyhow. Gov. Mark Sanford may never make his intended free, fun-and-game flights to Argentina.

Surely the decision to move a 787 final assembly plant to South Carolina was decided long ago. The union negotiations merely served to help “sweeten the pot” in terms of Boeing’s negotiations with that state.

Moving there is a good deal for South Carolina and its lower paid work force but also leaves plenty of room for Boeing executives to skim surplus off the top.

I mean, that’s still the name of the game, isn’t it? Go where the major stockholders get the biggest return and the mansions are cheap? Fact is, there’s plenty of bonus money for those guys no matter how many bad decisions they make.

Look at the wonderful job done in the outsourcing of the 787 component manufacturing partners; great job, huh? “My heart belongs to Everett but my defective wings belong to Japan…”

Having worked for Boeing during, and after, the McDonnell Douglas takeover, I noticed a lot of “interesting” decisions being made. What? You thought Boeing took over McDonnell Douglas? Well, let’s put it this way: After Boeing bought Douglas, the Douglas executives became the company’s major stockholders, took control and changes erupted like a nasty zit! For example — managers were put in place to manage areas and processes they knew nothing about. They were managers and were required to manage — period. So now you have a once people- and process-improvement-oriented company being run by a failed, Harry (“You don’t like it? There’s the door!”) Stonecipher company.

What does the future hold for our once beloved, Seattle-based, people-oriented, slowly dismantled company? Only time will tell.

Ron Kleinman

Mountlake Terrace

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