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The Boeing Company (/ˈboʊɪŋ/) is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets, satellites, telecommunications equipment, and missiles worldwide. The company also provides leasing and product support services. Boeing is among the largest global aerospace manufacturers; it is the third-largest defense contractor in the world based on 2020 revenue, and is the largest exporter in the United States by dollar value. Boeing stock is included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Boeing is incorporated in Delaware.
Boeing was founded by William Boeing in Seattle, Washington, on July 15, 1916. The present corporation is the result of the merger of Boeing with McDonnell Douglas on August 1, 1997. Then chairman and CEO of Boeing, Philip M. Condit, assumed those roles in the combined company, while Harry Stonecipher, former CEO of McDonnell Douglas, became president and COO.
The Boeing Company has its corporate headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. Boeing is organized into four primary divisions: Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA); Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS); Boeing Global Services; and Boeing Capital. In 2019, Boeing recorded US$ 76.6 billion in sales. Boeing is ranked 54th on the Fortune magazine "Fortune 500" list (2020), and ranked 121st on the "Fortune Global 500" list (2020).
In 2019, Boeing's global reputation, commercial business, and financial rating suffered after the 737 MAX was grounded worldwide following two fatal crashes in late 2018 and early 2019.
The Boeing Company was started in 1916, when American lumber industrialist William E. Boeing founded Aero Products Company in Seattle, Washington. Shortly before doing so, he and Conrad Westervelt created the "B&W" seaplane. In 1917, the organization was renamed Boeing Airplane Company, with William Boeing forming Boeing Airplane & Transport Corporation in 1928. In 1929, the company was renamed United Aircraft and Transport Corporation, followed by the acquisition of several aircraft makers such as Avion, Chance Vought, Sikorsky Aviation, Stearman Aircraft, Pratt & Whitney, and Hamilton Metalplane.
In 1931, the group merged its four smaller airlines into United Airlines. In 1934, the manufacture of aircraft was required to be separate from air transportation. Therefore, Boeing Airplane Company became one of three major groups to arise from dissolution of United Aircraft and Transport; the other two entities were United Aircraft (later United Technologies) and United Airlines.
In 1960, the company bought Vertol Aircraft Corporation, which at the time, was the biggest independent manufacturer of helicopters. During the 1960s and 1970s, the company diversified into industries such as outer space travel, marine craft, agriculture, energy production and transit systems.
In 1995, Boeing partnered with Russian, Ukrainian and Anglo-Norwegian organizations to create Sea Launch, a company providing commercial launch services sending satellites to geostationary orbit from floating platforms. In 2000, Boeing acquired the satellite segment of Hughes Electronics.
In December 1996, Boeing announced its intention to merge with McDonnell Douglas and, following regulatory approval, this was completed on August 4, 1997. This had been delayed by objections from the European Commission, which ultimately placed three conditions on the merger: termination of exclusivity agreements with three US airlines, separate accounts would be maintained for the McDonnell-Douglas civil aircraft business, and some defense patents were to be made available to competitors. In 2020, Quartz reported that after the merger there was a "clash of corporate cultures, where Boeing's engineers and McDonnell Douglas's bean-counters went head-to-head", which the latter won, and that this may have contributed to the events leading up to the 737 Max crash crisis.
The corporate headquarters were moved from Seattle to Chicago in 2001. In 2018, Boeing opened its first factory in Europe at Sheffield, UK, reinforced by a research partnership with The University of Sheffield.
In May 2020, the company cut over 12,000 jobs due to the drop in air travel during the COVID-19 pandemic with plans for a total 10% cut of its workforce or approximately 16,000 positions. In July 2020, Boeing reported a loss of $2.4 billion as a result of the pandemic and the grounding of its 737 MAX aircraft, and that it was in response planning to make more job and production cuts. On August 18, 2020, CEO Dave Calhoun announced further job cuts; on October 28, 2020 nearly 30,000 employees were laid off, as the airplane manufacturer was increasingly losing money due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Boeing 777X, the largest capacity twinjet, made its maiden flight on January 25, 2020. Following an incident during flight testing, estimated first delivery of the aircraft was delayed until 2024.
After two fatal crashes of the Boeing 737 MAX narrow-body passenger airplanes in 2018 and 2019, aviation regulators and airlines around the world grounded all 737 MAX airliners. A total of 387 aircraft were grounded. Boeing's reputation, business, and financial rating has suffered after these groundings, questioning Boeing's strategy, governance, and focus on profits and cost efficiency.
In May 2022, Boeing announced plans to move its global headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. The company said that this decision was made in part due to the region's "proximity to our customers and stakeholders, and its access to world-class engineering and technical talent.
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