Alaska Air inducts retired Boeing executive Ray Conner in its board
January 22, 2018: Alaska Air Group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and Horizon Air has appointed Ray Conner%u2014retired president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and former vice chairman of The Boeing Company to its board of directors. Conner will serve on the board's safety committee.
According to reports, Conner brings over 40 years of global leadership experience to the Seattle-based airline's board, having served as Boeing's most senior executive in the Pacific Northwest until his retirement in 2017.
His appointment affirms Alaska Airlines' commitment to its Pacific Northwest roots, as well as its focus on safety, growing a sustainable fleet and expanding its global reach with loyalty partners that connect the West Coast to worldwide hubs.
'Ray grew up to Sea-Tac Airport and attended Highline High School. Over his long and successful career, he has earned a reputation for doing the right thing, both for customers and for employees. Many leaders aspire to this worthy goal, but Ray has actually done it,' said Brad Tilden, chairman and chief executive officer of Alaska Air Group.
'His counsel will be extremely valuable as we improve and grow our company in the years ahead,' said Tilden.
Conner started working on the 727 line as a mechanic in 1977, helping to pay his way through college. From there, he rose through the ranks initially becoming Boeing Commercial Airplane's sales director for Thailand followed by various other management positions including%u2014vice president of the Propulsion Systems Division, vice president and general manager of the 747 program, vice president of Asia/Pacific sales for commercial airplanes, vice president of sales for the Americas and vice president and general manager of supply chain management.
Most recently, as president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Conner was responsible for delivering on a record backlog and overseeing the growth of its airplane programs and services.
He holds a bachelor's degree from Central Washington University and a master's from the University of Puget Sound.
Conner also serves on the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue and Adient%u2014a global supplier of seats to the automotive and aerospace industry.