Michael ( Mike ) M . Sears
Engineer , Executive Vice President and
Chief Financial Officer, The Boeing Company
MICHAEL (MIKE) M. SEARS
Executive Vice President
Office of the Chairman, and Chief Financial Officer
The Boeing Company Mike Sears
Mike Sears is executive vice president and chief financial officer of The Boeing Company. In March 2002 he became a member of the Office of the Chairman. He is also a member of the Boeing Strategy and Executive Councils
Sears was named CFO on May 8, 2000, less than three years after the merger with McDonnell Douglas brought his 27 years of aerospace experience to Boeing. He has held senior leadership positions in each of the company’s major business areas – defense systems and commercial aircraft.
From 1997 to 2000, Sears was in charge of development and production of military aircraft and missile systems at Boeing following the merger with McDonnell Douglas. He served first as president of McDonnell Aircraft and Missile Systems. He subsequently became a corporate senior vice president and president of Military Aircraft and Missile Systems, one of three operating groups formed as part of the restructuring of the company. Under Sears’ direction, this $13 billion unit consistently posted double-digit operating margins. During this time, he also oversaw the Phantom Works, Boeing’s center for exploring new technologies and products, until it became an independent operating unit within the company in 1999.
Before the merger of Boeing and McDonnell Douglas, Sears was president of McDonnell Douglas Aerospace from February to August 1997, responsible for the company’s space and defense businesses. Prior to that he was president of Douglas Aircraft Co., the commercial aircraft division of McDonnell Douglas. He led a sweeping re-assessment of the unit’s viability as a major commercial aircraft manufacturer and was at the helm during negotiations with Boeing to collaborate on widebody aircraft.
Sears began his career in aerospace in 1969 when he joined McDonnell Douglas as a senior engineer for avionics technology. He worked on the F-15 Eagle and Advanced Tactical Fighter programs before being named chief program engineer for advanced F/A-18 strike fighter studies in 1987. A year later he was appointed program manager for F/A-18 new business development. In 1990 Sears was promoted to vice president and general manager of the F/A-18 program, in charge of development and production of all Hornet and Super Hornet variants. He is widely credited with the successful launch of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet program, now the U.S. Navy’s front-line strike fighter.
Sears holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue University and a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Missouri-Rolla. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2001 and an honorary Doctor of Engineering from Purdue University in 2002.
Throughout his career Sears has received numerous awards, including the 1998 Hap Arnold Award for Excellence in Aeronautical Program Management from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He was recognized as an AIAA Fellow in 2000. He received Aviation Week’s Laurel Award in 1995 for his success in moving the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet from concept development to flight test. And in 1999 he accepted the prestigious Robert J. Collier Award from the National Aeronautic Association on behalf of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet program. In April 2000 Sears was honored with the Navy League’s Chester A. Nimitz Award for outstanding contributions to naval aviation and defense. In addition, he was honored as an Eagle by the Air University’s Air Command and Staff College Class of 2000 for his numerous contributions to aerospace.
Sears serves on the board of directors of the Private Sector Council, an organization that works with federal government managers by sharing business practices and techniques; World Business Chicago, a non-profit economic development organization; National Merit Scholarship Corp.; and Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He also is a member of the board of trustees for Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. and Chicago’s Field Museum. Sears serves as a national director of the March of Dimes which awarded him and his wife, Debbie, the Citizens of the Year Award in 2001.
Sears was born on July 16, 1947, in St. Louis, Mo.