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Boeing Reassigns Chief Project Engineer for 787 Dreamliner

Ashley Gross

Boeing’s chief project engineer for the 787 Dreamliner, Mike Sinnett, has been reassigned to a new job. Sinnett shepherded the Dreamliner through the battery crisis earlier this year.

He will become a vice president of product development, in charge of preliminary airplane design. He will also head research and development for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. 

Bob Whittington is shifting from his current position as chief project engineer of the 777 to replace Sinnett on the 787. Larry Schneider will replace Whittington on the 777 program.

Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia says he doesn't view Sinnett's reassignment as a vote of no confidence in his performance heading the Dreamliner program. 

"This is a big team effort getting engineering right on the 787, however the person in front of it all and the person who's in the spotlight, that's a very exhausting job," Aboulafia said. "So I imagine it was time for a rotation just purely on the grounds of exhaustion."

Boeing’s moves come at a critical time for the company, as it tries to quell concerns about the 787 and get ready to launch the next 777. 

The news was reported earlier by the Seattle Times.

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.