Image Risk Management: Boeing Begins Search for Asia Communications Head

Managing the risk to Boeing’s image in Japan associated with the late delivery of the first 787 to launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA) is one of the duties required of whoever is selected to be the airframer’s head of communications in the Asia-Pacific region.

Boeing this week began an internal and external search to fill the position, which will require the winning candidate to “minimize reputational impact and preserve Boeing’s status as preferred manufacturer in Japan” as well as take a “leadership role in managing reputation and perceptions of 787 supplier performance in Japan”.

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First delivery to ANA is delayed until early 2009. However, Boeing VP and general manager for the program, Pat Shanahan, recently confirmed that the manufacturer is still assessing the aircraft’s production system. Although Boeing tentatively plans to complete first flight by June and initiate deliveries early next year, the final certification and production schedule will be announced in late April, he said.

Having “reputation and issues management” and the ability to manage “crisis situations” are necessary to land the latest PR job. Sound like good skills to have.

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