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McNerney may be new Boeing CEO

June 30, 2005 14:06 IST

Three months after Boeing Co's former CEO was forced to resign, the aerospace company is expected to name 3M Co. CEO W. James McNerney Jr. on Thursday as its new chief executive, according to a published report.

Citing people familiar with the situation, The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site on Wednesday night that McNerney, 55, will become the third CEO of Chicago-based Boeing since December 2003. McNerney -- a Boeing board member since 2001 -- also is expected to be named chairman, the newspaper reported.

Boeing has been without a permanent boss since CEO Harry Stonecipher was forced from his post in March after admitting an affair with a female Boeing executive amid the company's high-profile campaign to improve its ethics and public perception.

Boeing spokesman Tim Neale declined to comment on the report.

Officials at 3M, a Maplewood, Minnesota-based conglomerate that makes everything from Post-It notes to surgical equipment, did not immediately return a call for comment on Wednesday night.

Earlier this month, Boeing Chairman Lew Platt said the board was down to a short list of 'five or six' potential new chief executives, including two internal candidates.

Platt had confirmed that the head of the commercial division, Alan Mulally, and Jim Albaugh, head of the company's space and defense business, were both on the list, and denied reports that the job had been turned down by an external candidate.

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