Boeing Loses Veteran Jetliner Salesmen at Crucial Time

(Bloomberg) -- Three prominent sales executives are retiring from Boeing Co., leaving key vacancies on the planemaker’s global commercial-marketing team ahead of next month’s Paris Air Show, the aerospace industry’s largest trade expo.

With the turnover, Boeing loses executives with deep customer relationships in some of its most critical markets as the company tries to rebuild confidence in the 737 Max after two fatal crashes. Boeing, which like Airbus is off to a slow start on jetliner sales this year, must also navigate U.S.-China trade tensions.

Boeing Loses Veteran Jetliner Salesmen at Crucial Time

Dinesh Keskar, former senior vice-president of sales for Asia-Pacific and India, said in an interview that he stepped down from Boeing on May 2 after 39 years with the company. Rick Anderson, who had led sales in China and Northeastern Asia, retired in March after 38 years at Boeing.

Marty Bentrott, a vice president in charge of sales for the Middle East, Russia and Central Asia, has told clients that he intends to retire next month, said people familiar with the matter. Asked to confirm the impending departure, company spokesman Paul Bergman said Bentrott “is still employed at Boeing.”

Under Ihssane Mounir, Boeing’s hard-charging chief commercial salesman, the U.S. planemaker’s sales had flourished through 2018 as Airbus SE shuffled its team. Boeing last year snapped its European rival’s six-year winning streak, netting 893 orders valued at $143.7 billion based on list prices.

‘Hard-Fought’ Deals

Keskar, 64, who earned a doctorate in aerospace engineering under the supervision of astronaut Neil Armstrong, estimates he helped land approximately 2,500 airplane orders worth about $400 billion after he shifted to a sales role in 1987. “There have been quite a few wins for me and they were all hard-fought,” he said by phone. “Everybody has a good product.”

His former sales territory has been divided between two executives. Since March, Christy Reese has headed Pacific region sales and marketing for Boeing, calling on customers from Korea to New Zealand. John Bruns, who formerly was Boeing’s lead executive in China, is now vice president for India and Southeast Asia.

Sherry Carbary has succeeded Bruns as Boeing’s president for China. In this role, her responsibilities include overseeing company strategy, government ties and in-country operations that include a new 737 finishing center. She is also charged with maintaining customer and supplier ties.

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