The heads of Boeing's 777 and 787 programmes have exchanged offices in the first major leadership change for those programmes in more than three years.

Scott Fancher is the new the vice president and general manager of the 777 programme, the same title he has held on the 787 programme since December 2008.

Loftis, meanwhile, will take Fancher's place on the 787 programme after serving as vice president and general manager for the 777.

"This appointment will take advantage of Larry's more than 32 years of commercial product experience and knowledge of Boeing's production system," said Jim Albaugh, president and chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Fancher will move on to manage the 777's ongoing production ramp-up, as well as work with Lars Anderson, vice president of advanced 777 product development, on defining the next generation of that product line.

Boeing moved Fancher to the 787 near the lowest point of the widebody programme's supply chain and design issues, which delayed entry into service more than three years to late 2011.

Fancher previously led the company's missile defence division.

Albaugh wants Fancher to "align the 777 production system with the next generation", the company said.

Both Fancher and Anderson will report to Albaugh, while Loftis will report to senior vice president of airplane programmes Pat Shanahan.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news