Refinitiv CFO Brian West to become new Boeing Chief Financial Officer during turbulent times

Brian West

After the surprise announcement two months ago of the retirement of its long-time CFO Greg Smith, Boeing has found a replacement, Brian West. West has been the CFO of financial market data provider Refinitiv since 2018 and will take up his new post on August 27, this year.

He will be joining Boeing at one of the most financially turbulent times in the U.S. planemaker’s history following the safety crisis surrounding the 737 MAX involving which led to the grounding of the jet for the best part of two years. In 2019 and 2020 structural problems in the 787 Dreamliner were identified by Boeing which had the potential to affect 893 out of a total of 982 of the wide-body jets; a problem with composite shims was discovered by Boeing that could lead to premature aging of the horizontal tail structure, while a second problem relating to the internal smoothness of a fuselage joint which, when combined with the first problem, could lead to the creation of out-of-tolerance gaps at that fuselage joint.

In January Boeing reported a record US$11.9 billion loss for the 2020 financial year, which included a US$6.5 billion charge on its latest jet, the wide-body 777X. The arrival of the coronavirus pandemic decimated demand for international air travel which, when combined with the 737 MAX crisis and consequential additional scrutiny of the 777X, will see first deliveries postponed until 2023, two years behind schedule.

Prior to joining Refinitiv, West was the CFO and Executive Vice President of Operations of Oscar Insurance Corporation from January 2016 to November 2018. Prior to that, he was the COO of Nielsen Holdings plc from March 2014 to January 2016 and the CFO of Nielsen Holdings plc (or its predecessor) from February 2007 to March 2014.

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