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Dennis Muilenburg is trying to reshape the company by boosting the profitability of its core commercial jetliner business and increasing defense exports while trimming costs with job cuts and more automation.
"My goal over time is to add manufacturing jobs, but these will be different kinds of jobs," Muilenburg said in a recent interview.
Muilenburg and other manufacturing CEOs are under pressure to help deliver on President Donald Trump's pledge to boost employment in the sector in return for tax and regulatory changes. However, potential changes to trade policies sit uneasily with some big exporters such as Boeing.
Boeing has been cutting its U.S. workforce through a mix of buyouts and involuntary layoffs, with the aim of revamping its factories through increased automation and use of new technologies it says can lower the cost of jet and defense systems' production. Boeing’s employee roll fell to around 145,000 at the end of May, down 30,000 from 2012, though it hired 11,000 new workers last year.
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