Boeing has named 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 later this month and retire from the company early next year.
Musser, 45, 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 will join Boeing September 25, reporting to Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg and will move into Downey’s place on the company’s executive council.
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. He successfully guided the company through a wide range of brand and reputation issues, including challenging new commercial jetliner programs, major defense and space campaigns, multiple plant site selections, labor negotiations, and the U.S. trade case against illegal European airplane subsidies. He also was the architect of the company’s 2016 centennial program.
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. He is a graduate of Saint Louis University.