Boeing is eliminating 50 executive positions from its defence, space and security security as part of an effort to limit a layer of bureaucratic management.

Boeing executive vice-president Leanne Caret announced the move 13 June but the reorganization will take effect 1 July. Boeing military aircraft and network and space systems will be broken up into four smaller entities reporting directly to Caret. Boeing elevated the role of autonomous systems within the company by creating an autonomous systems segment that will include the Insitu and Liquid Robotics subsidiaries, Echo Voyager unmanned submarine, unmanned vertical lift systems and some electronic and information systems.

A second segment, space and missile systems, will focus on satellites, Boeing's share of United Launch Alliance, the International Space Station, ground-based Midcourse Defense, Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, joint direct attack munition and Harpoon weapons. Boeing’s strike, surveillance and mobility segment will handle F-15 and F/A-18 fighters, P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, the company's bid for JSTARS recaptialisation and fixed-wing aircraft modifications. A fourth segment will consolidate vertical lift products, such as the AH-6i light attack helicopter, AH-64 Apache, CH-47 Chinook and V-22 Osprey.

“It aligns the company more closely with the areas we consider our key markets for the future,” Boeing spokesman Todd Blecher says. “This reflects a need to operate more efficiently and quickly.”

The executive elimination marks at least the third major reorganization since Caret took the executive helm in 2016. Not long after her move, Caret moved her office to Washington, D.C. to position Boeing executives in a new facility almost adjacent to the Pentagon. Earlier this year, the company combined its defence and commercial services to the third leg of its enterprise, Boeing Global Services. Boeing leadership is angling to capture a lucrative and expanding after-market with the new services segment.

The recent announcement is also the latest in a trend of downsizing at Boeing. Much of the work at Boeing’s Huntington Beach, California facility will move to El Segundo, California and its Kent, Washington facililty will shrink significantly. The Newington, Virginia and El Paso, Texas facilities will close by the end of the 2020, but could close sooner.