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Boeing names new leaders for 777X, 737MAX programs

The Boeing logo is seen on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane in Long Beach, California March 14, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
The Boeing logo is seen on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane in Long Beach, California March 14, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Boeing Co named new leaders for its 777X and 737 MAX commercial airplane programs and replaced the head of its engines division.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes Chief Executive Officer Ray Conner named Bob Feldmann to lead development of the forthcoming 777X, a derivative of the successful wide-body 777 jet. Feldmann formerly led development of the 737 MAX, taking it to firm concept.

The 777X is still not in the firm concept stage, and airlines are pressing Boeing to deliver the newer, more efficient variant as soon as possible. Boeing has promised it by the end of the decade.

Keith Leverkuhn, former head of the engines unit, known as the propulsion systems division, will succeed Feldmann on the 737 MAX, Conner said.

Feldmann and Leverkuhn will report to Scott Fancher, who was named head of airplane development in December.

Nicole Piasecki will succeed Leverkuhn as head of propulsion. The company also created a marketing and business development unit to "decipher the marketplace and prove the value of our products and services." The unit will include environment and aviation policy, product strategy, services strategy and strategic planning and analysis.

Fancher, as head of airplane development, oversees design and flight certification of planes that are currently on the drawing boards, including the 737 MAX, the 767 Tanker and 787-9.

(Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Tim Dobbyn)

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