Chairman, President and CEO / The Boeing Company
Always improving, always leading
As he prepares to retire from Boeing in 2016 after a successful decade at the helm, Chairman Jim McNerney reflects on a lifetime of leadership lessons
Jim McNerney always gravitated toward big jobs in top American companies facing the challenge of increasing global competition. Similarly, his contributions to Kellogg "support its ongoing efforts to adapt and improve in a more competitive educational environment and to continue producing better, more capable leaders to ensure our country's long-term success."
McNerney's career spanned time with Proctor and Gamble and McKinsey & Company, nearly two decades in senior leadership roles at the General Electric Company, the top job at 3M, and most recently, a decade-long run as chairman, president and CEO of The Boeing Company.
When he joined Boeing in 2005, the company was struggling to find its way forward after a series of mergers and acquisitions, some high-profile ethics missteps and some tough business challenges. His job was to build on the strength that already existed at Boeing.
Now that he's stepped down from his roles as Boeing president and CEO, he has had time to reflect. "In the past decade, we defined, built and nurtured a culture that emphasizes both individual accountability for getting one's job done and a shared responsibility for the company's overall success," he said. "The credit goes to Boeing employees and all they have accomplished by embracing this culture every day."
Years of experience allowed McNerney to mature as a leader. His advice for Kellogg graduates is simple: Always keep improving.
"Leaders today must be able to acclimate to a consistently fast pace, sharpen their intellectual curiosity and analytical capability, strengthen communications and leadership skills and learn to run toward problems, not away from them," he said.