James McNerney

Walter James "Jim" McNerney Jr.[1] (born August 22, 1949) is a business executive who was chairman of The Boeing Company until March 1, 2016.[2][3][4] He previously served as President and CEO of the company until July 2015.

James McNerney
McNerney speaking at the Department of State Global Business Conference in 2012
Walter James McNerney Jr.

(1949-08-22) August 22, 1949
ResidenceChicago, Illinois, U.S.
Alma materYale University (BA)
Harvard University (MBA)
TitleChairman, The Boeing Company
PredecessorLewis E. Platt
SuccessorDennis Muilenburg


McNerney was born in Providence, Rhode Island. He graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois in 1967.[5][6] He attended Yale University, receiving a B.A. degree in 1971. While at Yale, he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. At Yale, he excelled in baseball and hockey. After graduating from Yale, he worked for a year at both British United Provident and G.D. Searle, LLC, then attended Harvard Business School, receiving a Master of Business Administration in 1975.[7]


McNerney began his business career at Procter & Gamble in 1975, working in brand management.[8] He worked as a management consultant at McKinsey from 1978 to 1982.

McNerney joined General Electric in 1982. There, he held top executive positions including president and CEO of GE Aircraft Engines and GE Lighting; president of GE Asia-Pacific; president and CEO of GE Electrical Distribution and Control; executive vice president of GE Capital, one of the world's largest financial service companies; and president of GE Information Services. McNerney competed with Bob Nardelli and Jeff Immelt to succeed the retiring Jack Welch as chairman and CEO of General Electric. When Immelt won the three-way race, McNerney and Nardelli left GE (as was Welch's plan); McNerney was hired by 3M in 2001.

From 2001 to 2005, McNerney held the position as chairman of the board and CEO of 3M, a $20 billion global industrial company with leading positions in electronics, telecommunications, industrial, consumer and office products, health care, safety and other businesses.


On June 30, 2005, The Boeing Company hired McNerney as the chairman, President and CEO. McNerney oversaw the strategic direction of the Chicago-based, $61.5 billion aerospace company with a focus on spending controls.[9] With more than 160,500 employees, Boeing is the largest manufacturer of commercial airliners and military aircraft, with capabilities in aircraft, rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites and advanced information and communications systems.

As Boeing's first CEO without a background in aviation he took the decision to upgrade the 737 series to 737 MAX instead of developing a new model.[10]


In 2007, as CEO of Boeing, W. James McNerney Jr. made $12,904,478 in total compensation, which included a base salary of $1,800,077, a cash bonus of $4,266,500, options granted of $5,871,650, and Other $966,251.[11]

In 2008, his total compensation increased to $14,765,410, which included a base salary of $1,915,288, a cash bonus of $6,089,625, and options granted of $5,914,440.[12]

In 2009, his total compensation decreased to $13,705,435, which included a base salary of $1,930,000, a cash bonus of $4,500,300, stock options granted of $3,136,251, stock granted of $3,136,242, and other compensation totaling $1,002,642.[12]

In 2013, McNerney made $23.2 million in total compensation, which included a $1.9 million salary, $3.7 million stock award, $3.7 million stock option grant, and an annual incentive bonus of $12.8 million.[13]

In 2014, as Chairman and CEO of Boeing, McNerney made $29 million in total compensation.[14] Of the total: $2,004,231 was received as a salary; $14,400,000 was received as an annual bonus and a three-year performance bonus;[14] $6,272,517 was awarded as stock (none was received in stock options); and other compensation totaling $760,000.[14][15]


McNerney had been a member of the Boeing board of directors since 2001. He is also a member of the board of directors of Procter & Gamble and IBM. He served as Chairman of The Business Council in 2007 and 2008.[16] He is a current member of the Northwestern University Board of Trustees, is a Trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies[17] and served as Chairman of the President's Export Council, appointed by President Barack Obama.[18]

In December 2016, McNerney joined a business forum assembled by then president-elect Donald Trump to provide strategic and policy advice on economic issues.[19]

Career path
Job TenureCompanyPosition
1975–1978Procter & GambleBrand Manager
1978–1982McKinsey & CompanySenior Manager
1982–1988GE Mobile CommunicationsGeneral Manager
1988–1989GE Information ServicesPresident
1989–1991GE Financial Services and GE CapitalExecutive Vice President
1991–1992GE Electrical Distribution and ControlPresident and CEO
1993–1995GE Asia-PacificPresident
1995–1997GE LightingPresident
1997–2000GE Aircraft EnginesPresident and CEO
2000–20053MPresident and CEO
2005–2015The Boeing CompanyChairman, President and CEO


  1. Adams, Marilyn (February 26, 2007). "Straightened up and flying right". USA Today. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  2. "Boeing Holders Vote on CEO-Chairman Split Amid 787 Woes". Bloomberg.
  3. https://www.cnbc.com/id/102782300
  4. http://investors.boeing.com/investors/investor-news/press-release-details/2016/Muilenburg-Elected-Chairman-of-Boeing-Board-of-Directors/default.aspx
  5. "The Hard Work In Leadership". BusinessWeek. Archived from the original on December 19, 2007. Retrieved September 30, 2007.
  6. "Lofty expectations await Boeing CEO". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved September 30, 2007.
  7. Strahler, Steven R. (July 4, 2005). "Lofty expectations await Boeing's CEO; McNerney a boost to faded civic arena.(W. James McNerney Jr. appointed as chairman and chief executive officer)". Crain's Chicago Business.
  8. Steady Hand, Aviation Week & Space Technology, 170, 24 (June 15, 2009), p. 78
  9. Bloomberg Businessweek: "Former Boeing Engineers Say Relentless Cost-Cutting Sacrificed Safety"; By Peter Robison ; 08 May 2019.
  10. Daily Beast: "How Boeing’s Bean-Counters Courted the 737 MAX Disaster"; By Clive Irving ; 09 June 2019.
  11. 2007 CEO Compensation for W. James McNerney Jr, Equilar.com
  12. "Equilar – 404". equilar.com. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  13. USA Today: "Compensation for Boeing CEO McNerney soars in 2013"; by Gary Strauss; 14 March 2014.
  14. "Boeing CEO's compensation $29M, including $14M bonuses"; by Dominic Gates; 13 March 2015. The Seattle Times.
  15. Salary.com: "2014 Boeing executive compensation for W. James McNerney". Accessed 7.17.2015.
  16. The Business Council, Official website, Background Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  17. "Board of Trustees".
  18. Carney, Timothy (2011-04-24) Boeing lives by big government, dies by big government, Washington Examiner.
  19. Bryan, Bob (December 2, 2016). "Trump is forming an economic advisory team with the CEOs of Disney, General Motors, JPMorgan, and more". Business Insider. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
Business positions
Preceded by
James A. Bell
CEO of Boeing
Succeeded by
Dennis Muilenburg
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