Leadership

The case discusses the events that occurred in Boeing, one of the largest aerospace companies in the world, under the leadership of Phil Condit. Condit became the CEO of Boeing in 1996. In the very first year, the company found itself with a serious manufacturing breakdown, which led to huge losses. Condit was also responsible for shifting Boeing’s focus from commercial aircraft to defense contracts, which possibly led to the emergence of ethical problems in the company. In addition to this, under Condit, Boeing was overtaken by rival Airbus Industrie in aircraft deliveries for the first time in 2003. Condit’s diversification strategy was also not entirely successful and Boeing had to write off huge amounts in the late-1990s and early-2000s, due to failed acquisitions.
Condit resigned from Boeing in December 2003, and soon after his resignation, Boeing restructured its management structure. It also committed itself to the development of a new aircraft for the first time in 10 years. What remained to be seen was whether Boeing would recover from the damage it suffered under Condit and reestablish itself as the leader in the aerospace industry.
Issues:
» Analyze the leadership style of a brilliant engineer who went on to become the CEO of one of the largest aerospace companies in the world
» The importance of a CEO’s leadership style in relation to the environment in which a company operated

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