Front Page
Boeing Frontiers
December 2003/January 2004
Volume 02, Issue 08
Boeing Frontiers


As the new chief technology officer, Jim Jamieson relishes his role in helping teams move forward


Jim JamiesonMoving through the corridors of Boeing World Headquarters in Chicago, Jim Jamieson is enjoying the handshakes, introductions and quick conversations that come with a new, high-level position.

But there is another aspect to his enthusiasm. Weeks after his appointment as new Boeing chief technology officer, Jamieson is still relishing the news of his good fortune.

Jamieson—an engineer with 27 years' experience at designing and building commercial airplanes with Boeing, a fan of aerospace since he learned to count, and a leader who thrives on building teams and motivating them to tackle important new challenges—has been presented with what he says is the perfect opportunity to expand his horizons and help guide Boeing to a bright and exciting future.

"At this point in my life I can't imagine a better job than being the chief technology officer for the world's leading technology company," Jamieson said with a smile. The former senior vice president of Airplane Programs for BCA still marvels at the sight of an aircraft in flight and puts as much energy into his job today as he did when he joined the company in 1973 as an aircraft design engineer.

Jamieson's background in engineering design and production, "along with his experience applying technology in our products and systems, will add new insight and dimension to Boeing's strategic technology initiatives," then Boeing Chairman and CEO Phil Condit said at the time of Jamieson's appointment.

Dave Swain, chief operating officer for Integrated Defense Systems and the former chief technology officer for Boeing, described Jamieson as "very thoughtful, a great listener, results-focused" and a leader who "understands that technology is a key factor in improving Boeing's business results."

Jamieson is the product of a family that has deep ties to Boeing and aviation. His father was a structures engineer on military programs in Seattle, other relatives worked for the company as well, and an uncle flew in the U.S. Air Force. Jamieson, himself a private pilot, often refers to Boeing as "a magical place," filled with exciting opportunities and challenges that have only expanded as the company has undergone dramatic change. He said he has great respect for the "sheer strategy and vision" that has moved Boeing from a company cyclically dependent on its commercial airplane business to one that now has a stable balance of products and services.

Jamieson is impressed also with the caliber of Boeing employees. "From biplanes to jets and from rockets to satellites to the space station, the amazing products that our employees have produced over the decades are incredibly important to humankind," he said. "What we will accomplish in the 21st century will be even more amazing and important."

With Jamieson's new job comes some weighty responsibilities. He will provide executive oversight of the company's key technology organizations:

  • Boeing Phantom Works, the enterprisewide advanced research and development unit.

  • Boeing Ventures, which pursues global venture capital opportunities.

  • Intellectual Property Business, which is building and protecting Boeing intellectual assets.

  • External Technical Affiliations, which involves Boeing in education activities around the world.

He also provides strategic guidance on information technology strategies and initiatives to the Boeing chief information officer and leads the Engineering, Operations and Quality process councils.

As a result, Jamieson has been wasting no time in getting to know his organization. He recently received briefings from Bob Krieger, president of Phantom Works, the heads of the other CTO organizations —Miller Adams, Gene Partlow and Bob Spitzer, respectively—and Chief Information Officer Scott Griffin. He also met with Condit and Swain to further develop Boeing's pivotal strategic technology vision.

As he develops this technology vision, he says he will adopt a keep-it-simple style and maintain a clear connection to Boeing's vision. In addition to addressing the engineering challenges of the company, he's particularly interested in leveraging his position to strengthen Boeing's core competencies—detailed customer knowledge and focus, large-scale systems integration, the continued refinement of a Lean enterprise—and in becoming more involved in operations and quality initiatives.

"Technology will take us into the future," he says, "and it will involve migrating the best people, tools and processes across the enterprise to develop new solutions and help the business units to do what they do best—provide value to their customers and to Boeing through their products and services."

Distinguished by his engineering achievements and can-do attitude, Jamieson is no individualist—and proud of it. "How many people could, by themselves, design and build a 747?" he said. Teams have built Boeing into a world leader, he said, and they will propel the company into new frontiers.

"We need team effort to rally around our vision," he said. "My basic expectations—for myself and my team—are to be highly capable, hardworking and respectful of others. We're all voluntarily working for this company, and by choosing to be here, we should all commit to doing our best.

"I also think we should enjoy our work," Jamieson said. "I'd like all our employees to feel challenged and good about what they do—and to believe that Boeing is truly a great place to work. Dedicated employees built the Boeing of yesterday. Strongly motivated employees will be our passport to the future."


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