Conner, 57, replaces Jim Albaugh, 62, who has announced his retirement from the company on Oct. 1. The change is effective immediately.
Albaugh will help with the transition until his retirement date.
Conner began his career at Boeing 34 years ago as an airplane mechanic on the 727 program.
“Ray’s breadth and depth of experience in commercial airplanes is unmatched in our industry,” Boeing president and CEO Jim McNerney said in a statement. “He has built airplanes, sold airplanes, serviced airplanes, managed our largest programs, knows our customers extremely well, and is respected by our employees. He is the natural next leader of our growing commercial airplanes business, and this move is consistent with our executive succession plan.”
Conner served as vice president of Boeing’s supply chain management and operations, where he oversaw business conducted with thousands of global suppliers and the performance of Boeing’s in-house manufacturing, quality, fabrication and propulsion systems divisions. He also oversaw the development of Boeing’s production and assembly facilities in South Carolina.
Conner has also served as vice president and general manager of Boeing’s 777 and 747 programs.
Last year, he was a leader in negotiating a four-year contract extension with Boeing’s largest union, the Machinists.
Albaugh joined Rockwell Corp.’s defense and space business in 1975. Boeing acquired Rockwell in 1996.
Albaugh served as president of Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power, president and CEO of Boeing Space and Communications and president and CEO of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems.