Written by 12:19 Business

Frank Shrontz, 92, Dies; Led Boeing in the Last of Its Golden Years

Frank Shrontz, a widely admired executive who led Boeing in the 1980s and ’90s, a decade of spectacular growth in both its bottom line and its prestige as one of the world’s premier aerospace companies — a period very different from its current crisis of public confidence — died on May 3 at an assisted living home in Seattle. He was 92.

His son Craig confirmed the death.

Although he spent the bulk of his career at Boeing, Mr. Shrontz, who had a law degree and an M.B.A., was an unlikely choice to lead a company that prided itself on letting engineers and not businessmen set the pace.

Yet during his time at the helm — he became president in 1985, chief executive in 1986 and chairman of the board in 1988 — he led Boeing through a growth market, a recession and a thorough restructuring that produced one of the most successful commercial aircraft ever put into service, the 777.

Mr. Shrontz was known as a calm hand at the company tiller, with an everymanager’s feeling for the rank and file. He walked the floors at the factories around Boeing’s headquarters in Seattle, and he regularly met with groups of employees to hear their views and gather ideas.

“Frank Shrontz is who I think about when people ask me who the Boeing C.E.O. needs to be,” Richard Aboulafia, the managing director of AeroDynamic Advisory, said in a phone interview.

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Last modified: 23 May 2024
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