The Boeing Company (/ˈbɪŋ/) is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets, satellites, telecommunications equipment, and missiles worldwide. The company also provides leasing and product support services. Boeing is among the largest global aerospace manufacturers; it is the third-largest defense contractor in the world based on 2020 revenue,[7] and is the largest exporter in the United States by dollar value.[8] Boeing stock is included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Boeing is incorporated in Delaware.[9]

The Boeing Company
  • Pacific Aero Products Co. (1916–1917)
  • Boeing Airplane Company (1917–1961)[1][2]
FoundedJuly 15, 1916; 105 years ago (1916-07-15) (as Pacific Aero Products Co.)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
FounderWilliam E. Boeing
HeadquartersBoeing International Headquarters,
Chicago, Illinois
Area served
Worldwide[3]: 1 
Key people
Production output
  • 380 commercial aircraft (2019)
  • 229 military aircraft (2019)
  • 2 satellites (2019)
  • Leasing
  • Support solutions[3]: 35–36 
RevenueIncrease US$ 62.29 billion[4] (2021)
Increase US$ −2.90 billion[4] (2021)
Increase US$ −4.29 billion[4] (2021)
Total assetsDecrease US$ 138.5 billion[4] (2021)
Total equityIncrease US$ −14.84 billion[4] (2021)
Number of employees
141,582 (January 1, 2022)[5]
Footnotes / references

Boeing was founded by William Boeing in Seattle, Washington, on July 15, 1916.[10] The present corporation is the result of the merger of Boeing with McDonnell Douglas on August 1, 1997. Then chairman and CEO of Boeing, Philip M. Condit, assumed those roles in the combined company, while Harry Stonecipher, former CEO of McDonnell Douglas, became president and COO.[10]

The Boeing Company has its corporate headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.[11] Boeing is organized into four primary divisions: Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA); Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS); Boeing Global Services; and Boeing Capital. In 2019, Boeing recorded US$ 76.6 billion in sales. Boeing is ranked 54th on the Fortune magazine "Fortune 500" list (2020),[12] and ranked 121st on the "Fortune Global 500" list (2020).[13]

In 2019, Boeing's global reputation, commercial business, and financial rating suffered after the 737 MAX was grounded worldwide following two fatal crashes in late 2018 and early 2019.


The Boeing Company was started in 1916, when American lumber industrialist William E. Boeing founded Aero Products Company in Seattle, Washington. Shortly before doing so, he and Conrad Westervelt created the "B&W" seaplane.[14][15] In 1917, the organization was renamed Boeing Airplane Company, with William Boeing forming Boeing Airplane & Transport Corporation in 1928.[14] In 1929, the company was renamed United Aircraft and Transport Corporation, followed by the acquisition of several aircraft makers such as Avion, Chance Vought, Sikorsky Aviation, Stearman Aircraft, Pratt & Whitney, and Hamilton Metalplane.[2]

In 1931, the group merged its four smaller airlines into United Airlines. In 1934, the manufacture of aircraft was required to be separate from air transportation.[16] Therefore, Boeing Airplane Company became one of three major groups to arise from dissolution of United Aircraft and Transport; the other two entities were United Aircraft (later United Technologies) and United Airlines.[2][16]

In 1960, the company bought Vertol Aircraft Corporation, which at the time, was the biggest independent manufacturer of helicopters.[17] During the 1960s and 1970s, the company diversified into industries such as outer space travel, marine craft, agriculture, energy production and transit systems.[2]

In 1995, Boeing partnered with Russian, Ukrainian and Anglo-Norwegian organizations to create Sea Launch, a company providing commercial launch services sending satellites to geostationary orbit from floating platforms.[18] In 2000, Boeing acquired the satellite segment of Hughes Electronics.[2][19]

In December 1996, Boeing announced its intention to merge with McDonnell Douglas and, following regulatory approval, this was completed on August 4, 1997.[20] This had been delayed by objections from the European Commission, which ultimately placed three conditions on the merger: termination of exclusivity agreements with three US airlines, separate accounts would be maintained for the McDonnell-Douglas civil aircraft business, and some defense patents were to be made available to competitors.[21] In 2020, Quartz reported that after the merger there was a "clash of corporate cultures, where Boeing's engineers and McDonnell Douglas's bean-counters went head-to-head", which the latter won, and that this may have contributed to the events leading up to the 737 Max crash crisis.[22]

The corporate headquarters were moved from Seattle to Chicago in 2001.[23] In 2018, Boeing opened its first factory in Europe at Sheffield, UK, reinforced by a research partnership with The University of Sheffield.[24]

In May 2020, the company cut over 12,000 jobs due to the drop in air travel during the COVID-19 pandemic with plans for a total 10% cut of its workforce or approximately 16,000 positions.[25] In July 2020, Boeing reported a loss of $2.4 billion as a result of the pandemic and the grounding of its 737 MAX aircraft, and that it was in response planning to make more job and production cuts.[26] On August 18, 2020, CEO Dave Calhoun announced further job cuts;[27] on October 28, 2020 nearly 30,000 employees were laid off, as the airplane manufacturer was increasingly losing money due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[28]

The Boeing 777X, the largest capacity twinjet, made its maiden flight on January 25, 2020.[29] Following an incident during flight testing, estimated first delivery of the aircraft was delayed until 2024.[30]

After two fatal crashes of the Boeing 737 MAX narrow-body passenger airplanes in 2018 and 2019, aviation regulators and airlines around the world grounded all 737 MAX airliners.[31] A total of 387 aircraft were grounded.[32] Boeing's reputation, business, and financial rating has suffered after these groundings, questioning Boeing's strategy, governance, and focus on profits and cost efficiency.[33][34][35]

In May 2022, Boeing announced plans to move its global headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. The company said that this decision was made in part due to the region's "proximity to our customers and stakeholders, and its access to world-class engineering and technical talent."[36]


The corporation's four main divisions are Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA), Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS), Boeing Global Services, and Boeing Capital.[37]

Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) builds commercial aircraft including the 737, 747, 767, 777, 787, along with freighter and business jet variants of most. The division employs nearly 35,000 people, many working at the company's manufacturing facilities in Everett and Renton, Washington (outside of Seattle), and South Carolina.

Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) builds military aircraft, satellites, spacecraft, and space launch vehicles.

Boeing Global Services provides aftermarket support, such as maintenance and upgrades, to customers who purchase equipment from BCA, BDS, or from other manufacturers.

Boeing Capital provides customers financing for the products and services from the company's other divisions.

Environmental recordEdit

In 2006, the UCLA Center for Environmental Risk Reduction released a study showing that Boeing's Santa Susana Field Laboratory, a site that was a former Rocketdyne test and development site in the Simi Hills of eastern Ventura County in Southern California, had been contaminated by Rocketdyne with toxic and radioactive waste. Boeing agreed to a cleanup agreement with the EPA in 2017.[38] Clean up studies and lawsuits are in progress.[39]

Jet biofuelsEdit

Boeing Everett Factory, the assembly facility for most of the company's wide-body aircraft

The airline industry is responsible for about 11% of greenhouse gases emitted by the U.S. transportation sector.[40] Aviation's share of the greenhouse gas emissions was poised to grow, as air travel increases and ground vehicles use more alternative fuels like ethanol and biodiesel.[40] Boeing estimates that biofuels could reduce flight-related greenhouse-gas emissions by 60 to 80%.[40] The solution blends algae fuels with existing jet fuel.[40]

Boeing executives said the company was collaborating with Brazilian biofuels maker Tecbio, Aquaflow Bionomic of New Zealand, and other fuel developers around the world. As of 2007, Boeing had tested six fuels from these companies, and expected to test 20 fuels "by the time we're done evaluating them".[40] Boeing also joined other aviation-related members in the Algal Biomass Organization (ABO) in June 2008.[41]

Air New Zealand and Boeing are researching the jatropha plant to see if it is a sustainable alternative to conventional fuel.[42] A two-hour test flight using a 50–50 mixture of the new biofuel with Jet A-1 in a Rolls Royce RB-211 engine of a 747-400 was completed on December 30, 2008.[43] The engine was then removed to be studied to identify any differences between the Jatropha blend and regular Jet A1. No effects on performances were found.[43]

On August 31, 2010, Boeing worked with the U.S. Air Force to test the Boeing C-17 running on 50% JP-8, 25% Hydro-treated Renewable Jet fuel and 25% of a Fischer–Tropsch fuel with successful results.[44]

Electric propulsionEdit

For NASA's N+3 future airliner program, Boeing has determined that hybrid electric engine technology is by far the best choice for its subsonic design. Hybrid electric propulsion has the potential to shorten takeoff distance and reduce noise. Boeing created a team to study electric propulsion in future generation of subsonic commercial aircraft. SUGAR for Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research includes, BR&T, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, General Electric, and Georgia Tech. There are five main concepts of the team is reviewing. SUGAR Free and Refined SUGAR, are two concepts based on conventional aircraft similar to the 737. SUGAR High and SUGAR Volt, are both high span, strut-based wing concepts. The final concept is SUGAR Ray, which is a wing body hybrid. The SUGAR Volt concept has resulted in a drop in fuel burn of more than 70 percent and a reduction of total energy use by 55 percent. This reduction is the result of adding an electric battery gas turbine hybrid propulsion system.[45]

Political contributions, federal contracts, advocacyEdit

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg and US President Donald Trump at the 787-10 Dreamliner rollout ceremony in 2017

In 2008 and 2009, Boeing was second on the list of Top 100 US Federal Contractors, with contracts totaling US$22 billion and US$23 billion respectively.[46][47] Between 1995 and early 2021, the company has agreed to pay US$4.3 billion to settle 84 instances of misconduct, including US$615 million in 2006 in relation to illegal hiring of government officials and improper use of proprietary information.[48][49][50]

Boeing secured the highest ever tax breaks at the state level in 2013.[51]

Boeing's spent US$16.9 million on lobbying expenditures in 2009.[52][53] In the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama "was by far the biggest recipient of campaign contributions from Boeing employees and executives, hauling in US$197,000 – five times as much as John McCain, and more than the top eight Republicans combined".[54]

Boeing has a corporate citizenship program centered on charitable contributions in five areas: education, health, human services, environment, the arts, culture, and civic engagement.[55][better source needed] In 2011, Boeing spent US$147.3 million in these areas through charitable grants and business sponsorships.[56] In February 2012, Boeing Global Corporate Citizenship partnered with the Insight Labs to develop a new model for foundations to more effectively lead the sectors they serve.[57][better source needed]

The company is a member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a Washington D.C.-based coalition of more than 400 major companies and NGOs that advocate a larger International Affairs Budget, which funds American diplomatic and development efforts abroad.[58] A series of U.S. diplomatic cables show how U.S. diplomats and senior politicians intervene on behalf of Boeing to help boost the company's sales.[59]

In 2007 and 2008, the company benefited from over US$10 billion of long-term loan guarantees, helping finance the purchase of their commercial aircraft in countries including Brazil, Canada, Ireland, and the United Arab Emirates, from the Export-Import Bank of the United States, some 65% of the total loan guarantees the bank made in the period.[60]


In December 2011, the non-partisan organization Public Campaign criticized Boeing for spending US$52.29 million on lobbying and not paying taxes during 2008–2010, instead getting US$178 million in tax rebates, despite making a profit of US$9.7 billion, laying off 14,862 workers since 2008, and increasing executive pay by 31% to US$41.9 million in 2010 for its top five executives.[61]

The firm has also been criticized for supplying and profiting from wars, including the war in Yemen where its missiles were found to be used for indiscriminate attacks, killing many civilians.[62][63]

Boeing has been accused of unethical practices (in violation of the Procurement Integrity Act) while attempting to submit a revised bid to NASA for their lunar landing project.[64]


For the fiscal year 2017, Boeing reported earnings of US$8.191 billion, with an annual revenue of US$93.392 billion, a 1.25% decline over the previous fiscal cycle. Boeing's shares traded at over $209 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over US$206.6 billion.[65]

Year Revenue
in million US$
Net (Loss)/Earnings
in mil. US$
Price per Share
in US$
2005 53,621[66] 2,572 45.42
2006 61,530[67] 2,215 59.20
2007 66,387[68] 4,074 71.05
2008 60,909 2,672 50.76
2009 68,281[69] 1,312 35.73
2010 64,306[70] 3,298 53.89
2011 68,735[71] 4,009 58.20
2012 81,698[72] 3,900 62.65
2013 86,623[73] 4,578 90.39 168,400
2014 90,762[74] 5,440 114.72 165,500
2015 96,114[75] 5,172 131.43 161,400
2016 94,571[76] 4,892 125.66 150,500
2017 93,392[77] 8,191 209.85 140,800
2018 101,127[78] 10,460 319.05 153,000
2019 76,559[79] (636) 325.76
2020 58,158[80] (11,941) 311.11[81] 141,014[82]
2021 62,286[83] (4,290)[83] 141,582[84]

Between 2010 and 2018, Boeing increased its operating cash flow from $3 to $15.3 billion, sustaining its share price, by negotiating advance payments from customers and delaying payments to its suppliers. This strategy is sustainable only as long as orders are good and delivery rates are increasing.[85]

From 2013 to 2019, Boeing spent over $60 billion on dividends and stock buybacks, twice as much as the development costs of the 787.[86]

In 2020, Boeing's revenue was $11.8 billion as a result of the pandemic slump. Due to higher sales in other divisions and an influx in deliveries of commercial jetliners in 2021, revenue increased 44%, reaching nearly $17 billion. [87]

Employment numbersEdit

The company's employment totals are listed below.

Approximately 1.5% of Boeing employees are in the Technical Fellowship program, a program through which Boeing's top engineers and scientists set technical direction for the company.[89] The average salary at Boeing is $76,784, reported by former employees.[90]

Corporate governanceEdit

In 2022, Rory Kennedy made a documentary film, Downfall: The Case Against Boeing, streamed by Netflix. She said about the 21st-century history of Boeing "There were many decades when Boeing did extraordinary things by focusing on excellence and safety and ingenuity. Those three virtues were seen as the key to profit. It could work, and beautifully. And then they were taken over by a group that decided Wall Street was the end-all, be-all."[91]

On May 5, 2022, Boeing announced that it would be moving its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Additionally, it plans to add a research and technology center in Northern Virginia.[92]


As of 2022 Boeing is headed by a President who also serves as the Chief Executive Officer. The roles of Chairman of the Board and CEO were separated in October 2019.[93]

Chairman of the Board
Name Background
Lawrence W. Kellner Former Chairman and CEO, Continental Airlines, Inc.
Board of Directors
Name Background
Robert A. Bradway Chairman and CEO, Amgen, Inc.
David L. Calhoun President and CEO, The Boeing Company
Lynne M. Doughttie Former U.S. Chairman and CEO, KPMG
ADM Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr.(retd) Former Vice-Chairman, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff

Former Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, NATO

Lynn J. Good Chairman, President and CEO, Duke Energy Corporation
Lt Gen Stayce D. Harris (retd) Former United Airlines Pilot

Former Inspector General, U.S. Air Force

Akhil Johri Former Executive Vice-President and CFO, United Technologies Corporation
David L. Joyce Former President and CEO, GE Aviation

Former Vice-Chair, General Electric Company

Steven M. Mollenkopf Former CEO, Qualcomm Inc.
ADM John M. Richardson (retd) Former Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy

Former Director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, U.S. Navy

Ronald A. Williams Former Chairman, President and CEO, Aetna, Inc.

Past leadershipEdit

Chief Executive Officer President Chairman
N/A Position not Created N/A Position not Created 1916–1934 William E. Boeing
1922–1925 Edgar N. Gott[94]
1926–1933 Philip G. Johnson
1933–1939 Clairmont L. Egtvedt[95] 1933–1939 Clairmont L. Egtvedt
1934–1968 Clairmont L. Egtvedt
1939–1944 Philip G. Johnson 1939–1944 Philip G. Johnson
1944–1945 Clairmont L. Egtvedt 1944–1945 Clairmont L. Egtvedt
1945–1968 William M. Allen 1945–1968 William M. Allen
1969–1986 Thornton A. Wilson 1968–1972 Thornton A. Wilson 1968–1972 William M. Allen
1972–1985 Malcolm T. Stamper 1972–1987 Thornton A. Wilson
1985–1996 Frank Shrontz
1986–1996 Frank Shrontz[96] 1988–1996 Frank Shrontz
1996–2003 Philip M. Condit 1996–1997 Philip M. Condit 1997–2003 Philip M. Condit
1997–2005 Harry C. Stonecipher
2003–2005 Harry C. Stonecipher 2003–2005 Lewis E. Platt
2005 James A. Bell (acting) 2005 James A. Bell (acting)
2005–2015 James McNerney 2005–2013 James McNerney 2005–2016 James McNerney
2013–2019 Dennis Muilenburg[97]
2015–2019 Dennis Muilenburg[98] 2016–2019 Dennis Muilenburg
2019 David L. Calhoun
2020–present David L. Calhoun 2020–present David L. Calhoun 2019–present Lawrence W. Kellner

See alsoEdit


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Further readingEdit

  • Cloud, Dana L. We Are the Union: Democratic Unionism and Dissent at Boeing. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2011. OCLC 816419078
  • Greider, William. One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism. London: Penguin Press, 1998. OCLC 470412225
  • Reed, Polly. Capitalist Family Values: Gender, Work, and Corporate Culture at Boeing. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2015. OCLC 931949091

External linksEdit