Boeing Co. said Monday that Ray Conner would step down as head of its commercial aircraft unit, with Kevin McAllister joining from General Electric Co. to take over immediately atop the company's largest business unit.

The move continues the series of senior management changes since Dennis Muilenburg took over as chief executive in July last year which have included the head of Boeing's defense arm and other leaders of its military and commercial aircraft units.

Mr. Conner, aged61, will remain as Boeing's vice chairman through 2017, and the company said he would work with Mr. McAllister?who is head of GE Aviation Services?on a transition "in the months ahead."

The planned change comes as Boeing simultaneously boosts aircraft production and cuts jobs and costs to compete with Airbus Group SE.

Mr. Conner is the company's vice chairman and has been president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes since June 2012, and oversees its main aircraft manufacturing facilities around Seattle. He is on the board of Johnson Controls Inc.

Mr. Conner, who received $9.1 million in total compensation last year, joined Boeing in 1977 as a mechanic on its 727 jet program and rose through the ranks to lead its 747 and 777 jet lines as well as leading the commercial unit sales and customer support operation.

Write to Doug Cameron at doug.cameron@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 21, 2016 17:25 ET (22:25 GMT)

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