Boeing hires new leader to replace Wyse as head of S.C. operations

by Liz Segrist

A little more than a year after assuming the helm of Boeing South Carolina, Beverly Wyse is no longer vice president and general manager of the North Charleston Dreamliner campus.

Joan Robinson-Berry, a 30-year Boeing employee, succeeds Wyse and assumes leadership of Boeing South Carolina, effective immediately, Boeing Co. announced today in a news release.

Beverly Wyse

Beverly Wyse

Joan Robinson-Berry

Joan Robinson-Berry

Wyse has been named president of the Shared Services Group, a 7,000-employee unit that provides internal services — such as the sale and acquisition of property, purchase of non-production equipment and supplies, and management of human resources, recruitment and expenses — across its global footprint.

Wyse replaces Rob Pasterick, who announced his retirement earlier this year, Boeing spokeswoman Elizabeth Merida said.

Wyse relocated from Washington state last year and officially took over from former Boeing S.C. General Manager Jack Jones in May 2015 — though she had been working on site in that role for several months by that time.

When she assumed the leadership role, Wyse said her five-year vision was to make the Dreamliner campus in North Charleston “Boeing’s benchmark for efficiency and productivity.”

Wyse planned to use her five years’ experience managing a 737 plant in Renton Wash. — where she increased production rates to 42 planes per month — to ramp up rates and introduce a new jet to the Boeing S.C. production and final assembly operations. She also advocated for increasing diversity in the plants and focusing on lean manufacturing.

This leadership change comes at a pivotal time for the 787 program — rates are increasing from 10 to 12 per month this summer, and 787-10 production will be integrated this year.

The Lowcountry campus is also building a paint facility that is set to open later this year, enabling Dreamliners to be painted on-site rather than by off-site, third-party suppliers.

The North Charleston campus reached a milestone in February of delivering its 100th S.C.-made Dreamliner; two months later, it announced a voluntary layoff program amid companywide cuts in the commercial sector. Two hundred engineers received a voluntary layoff offer, though Boeing said it does not plan to lay off that amount.

Few details were made available about why the leadership transition occurred; Robinson-Berry and Wyse will speak at a news conference at 3:30 p.m. today in North Charleston.

“With SSG touching every part of Boeing, Beverly’s in-depth business unit knowledge, her extensive program management experience and her proven ability to successfully implement productivity initiatives will differentiate the company as we strive to become more efficient and competitive,” Ray Conner, Boeing’s vice chairman and commercial airplanes president and CEO, said in the release.

787 program changes

The release also said the leadership change signifies a transition to further integrate the North Charleston site into the overall 787 program. It will do so in part by bringing the 787 production system under the leadership of Mark Jenks, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. Jenks will continue reporting to Conner.

“It’s always been clear that there is one 787 program and one production system that encompasses operations in North Charleston and Everett, Wash.,” Conner said. “By more directly linking the reporting relationships, we are further integrating BSC into the heart of the program and ensuring the goals and plans at each location are aligned.”

The North Charleston Dreamliner operations include the production, assembly and installation of the aft and midbody fuselage sections, as well as final assembly and delivery of 787 Dreamliners. Those operations are shared with Boeing’s Dreamliner operations in Everett, Wash.

The new head of Boeing South Carolina

Robinson-Berry was most recently the vice president of the Shared Services Group Supplier Management organization. In that position, she was responsible for strategy, contracting and development of non-production goods and services, the release said. She has previously held numerous other leadership positions at Boeing.

“To succeed Beverly, we looked for a leader for BSC who could continue the great work that is being done on growing the company’s presence in South Carolina and implementing improvements across the site that our teammates bring forward. Joan’s strengths naturally align with these requirements,” Conner said in the release. “Joan has broad Boeing experience and is known as a strong advocate for employees, a results-oriented leader and a community builder. The South Carolina team and community have a true partner that will continue to strengthen Boeing’s roots in the region.”

In addition to the 787 program, the leader of Boeing S.C. manages a Research and Technology laboratory, a Propulsion center and an Interiors Responsibility Center, all within the Palmetto Commerce Park, as well as a recently opened Engineering Design Center and Information Technology Center.

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Liz Segrist

Staff Writer
Liz Segrist covers manufacturing, aerospace, ports, technology, startups and commercial real estate for the Charleston Regional Business Journal. Reach her at 843-849-3119 or via email.