Boeing Australia appoints Brendan Nelson president

Brendan Nelson will lead Boeing’s Oceania operations as president of Boeing Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, the company announced on Monday.

Nelson will become chairman of the board for Boeing Australia Holdings on February 11, as well as the company’s senior leader. Boeing employs 3,800 staff across commercial airplane manufacturing, defence systems, services, research and development, and autonomous systems.

Outgoing president Maureen Dougherty served as the company’s president for the Oceania region since 2014. She will retire in March after a transition with Dr Nelson.

As part of his role, Nelson will strengthen the company’s local presence and business portfolio in the region.

“It is an honour to join a global company like Boeing whose proud legacy here in Australia dates back more than 90 years to the earliest days of Australian aircraft manufacturing,” said Nelson.

“Today, Boeing Australia employees are working across the country in high-tech jobs that help define and deliver the future of aviation and defence – not just for Australian customers but for the world.”

President of Boeing International, Michael Arthur welcome the new appointment.

“Boeing is proud to have Brendan join our team after his many years of outstanding public and private sector service,” Arthur said.

“His proven ability to understand and manage complex situations – first as a medical doctor, later as a government leader and diplomat – will be put to good use as he leads Boeing Australia, the company’s largest presence outside the US and home to a large engineering and technical staff.”

“Brendan takes up the mantle from Maureen Dougherty, who has done a superb job over the past six years leading our regional efforts, growing our relationships with customers and other stakeholders, and ensuring that Boeing in Australia thrives for many years ahead.”

Nelson’s most recent role was director of the Australian War Memorial (AWM). Boeing controversially gave corporate sponsorship to the institution alongside Thales, Lockheed Martin and BAE as corporate sponsors.

Nelson was also former defence minister and leader of the opposition. He has also served as Australia’s ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg, the European Union and NATO.