Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Late in the summer of 1997, two of the most critical players in global aviation became a single tremendous titan. Boeing, one of the US's largest and most important companies, acquired its longtime plane manufacturer rival, McDonnell Douglas, in what was then the country's tenth-largest merger. The resulting giant took Boeing's name. More unexpectedly, it took its culture and strategy from McDonnell Douglas"even its commercial aviation department was struggling to retain customers. ...

In a clash of corporate cultures, where Boeing's engineers and McDonnell Douglas's bean-counters went head-to-head, the smaller company won out. The result was a move away from expensive, ground-breaking engineering and toward what some called a more cut-throat culture, devoted to keeping costs down and favoring upgrading older models at the expense of wholesale innovation. Only now, with the 737 indefinitely grounded, are we beginning to see the scale of its effects.



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This is what the profit motive does to every profitable company.

Money attracts bean counters, in exactly the same way that food left out in the kitchen attracts roaches.

#1 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-01-21 06:20 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I worked 11 years for McDonnell Douglas and they were always proud of producing some of the most well engineered aircraft in the world. I had already left the company when they were acquired by Boeing in 1997, but I now get a pension check every month from Boeing. In fact, I get monthly pension checks from THREE different companies that I NEVER worked for.

As for what Boeing inherited from McDonnell Douglas, one thing was a logo. Boeing never really had a logo, just their name in block letters. When they acquired MDC, to the chagrin of all the old Boeing people who had competed against them, they adopted a new corporate logo based on the the old McDonnell Douglas logo, which had been based on the Douglas Aircraft Company logo when they were acquired in 1967 by the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation. The rumors I heard was that a lot of people in Seattle were very unhappy about that, mostly because it WAS based on the old Douglas logo, the company that they considered to be their real competitor, as they never considered McAir as one since they built mostly military aircraft.

As for the gist of this article, I'm not sure they got it quite right. I would say that the commercial airline group at Douglas in Long Beach never had that much influence over the new company, but rather it was the military side of the business, which was dominated by the McAir crowd in Saint Louis, that came-out on top.

Anyway, I don't really care about any of this, as long as that pension checks shows-up in my bank account the first of every month ;-)


#2 | Posted by OCUser at 2020-01-22 05:53 PM | Reply

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