September 8, 2017: Boeing has appointed Phil Musser as the company's next senior vice president of communications, succeeding Tom Downey, who has announced plans to step down from the role late this month and retire from the company early next year.
He will join Boeing from September 25, reporting to chairman, president and CEO Dennis Muilenburg and will move into Downey's place on the company's executive council. He will be based in Chicago.
Musser has more than 20 years of strategic communications and public relations experience, including 10 years as a consultant to Boeing. He is the chairman and chief executive officer of IMGE, an Alexandria, Virginia-based digital communications firm he co-founded in 2013.
"He is a creative, strategic and energetic leader who understands the scale of our brand and how to inspire confidence and support among our many important stakeholders. He also has a passion for engaging our people, shaping culture and investing in talent for the future. He is the right choice to lead our world-class communications team into Boeing's second century," said Muilenburg.
Downey is the longest-serving Boeing communications chief since the company reshaped itself through a series of mergers and acquisitions in the late 1990s. During his tenure, he led the company's integrated communications initiatives, coordinating all internal and external activities to support Boeing's business strategies.
"While words are his thing, it's hard to find enough of them to express our gratitude for all he has done for our company and our people over the past 31 years. Day and night, coast to coast, around the globe, across every area of our business, he was working to protect and strengthen our brand and building an outstanding Communications team," added Muilenburg.
Downey began his career with the company in 1986 on fighter jet programs in St. Louis, at what was then McDonnell Douglas, which merged with Boeing in 1997. He would go on to lead the communications arms of the commercial airplanes and defense and space businesses at both McDonnell Douglas and Boeing, working directly with seven past Boeing and McDonnell Douglas CEOs.
Photo: Phil Musser