Boeing: a history
Aerospace company Boeing has announced its investment of over $300 million to bring enhanced composite production to St. Louis.
The new center on Boeing’s St. Louis campus was opened yesterday, and marks the largest commercial aviation work statement ever placed there. It represents Boeing’s efforts to diversify and grow in the region.
The facility is initially for the purpose of building parts for Boeing’s latest commercial jetliner, the 777X. It has committed over $300 million to the construction and outfitting of the center.
Bob Ciesla, Vice President and Program Manager for the 777X St. Louis project, said: “Boeing has had a presence in St. Louis for nearly 80 years. We’ve built more than 12,000 fighter jets here.
“With the opening of this new composite center, our well-trained, high-quality workforce is able to demonstrate its versatility and expertise, positioning our region for additional commercial and defense work in the future.”
While Boeing has been in St. Louis 80 years, it has existed far longer. We take a look at the illustrious company’s history:
1910: William Boeing buys a shipyard in Seattle, which will become his first airplane factory. The first airplane flight is made over Seattle.
1916: William Boeing begins final assembly of the B&W seaplane (named Bluebill) at his boathouse and takes it on its maiden flight.
1919: The Boeing B-1 mail plane, Boeing’s first commercial aircraft, makes its first flight.
1923: The Boeing NB-1 makes its first flight. The army and navy buy more than 157 versions of this plane. Boeing later creates 27 FB-5 carrier-fighters for the navy.
1934: Boeing subsidiary, Stearman Aircraft, delivers its first Kaydet to the military. This becomes the most common preliminary trainer in service, and 10,346 Kaydets are made for WWII.
1945: Boeing’s B-29 Enola Gay drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Three days later the B-29 Bockscar bombs Nagasaki.
1957: Three Boeing B-52s fly around the world in 45 hours, 19 muinutes at 520 mph. The previous 1949 B-50 record is halved.
1965: Boeing receives the largest commercial airline order of the time; United Air Lines orders 66 jetliners with options for 39 more and leasing of an extra 25.
1975: Boeing’s aerospace division begins designing, producing, and testing two low-cost spacecraft under the technical direction of the Goddard Space Flight Center.
1990: The Boeing 737 becomes the world’s best-selling jetliner.
2004: Boeing will develop a system design and demonstrate critical technologies for a secure, high--capability global communications network serving the US Department of Defense, NASA, and the intelligence community.
2012: Boeing announces it will advances its connectivity options on commercial 747-8 and 777 jetliners with in-flight cell phone use, Wi-Fi, and live TV broadcasts.
You can download the full chronology here.
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Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.