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Published on February 22, 2024
Boeing Names Former Federal Prosecutor Uma Amuluru as New HR Chief Ahead of Seattle Union TalksSource: Boeing Company

In a significant shift in leadership, Boeing has named a new head of human resources at a critical juncture, with labor negotiations on the horizon. The aerospace giant announced on Thursday that Uma Amuluru will be stepping into the role as the company's Chief Human Resources Officer and executive vice president, beginning April 1. She's set to replace Michael D’Ambrose, who plans to retire this coming July after a four-year tenure with the company.

Amuluru's appointment comes just ahead of pivotal contract talks with Boeing's biggest union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents about 32,000 employees in the Seattle area. Talks are set to commence on March 8, marking the beginning of what is expected to be a particularly thorny negotiation process. Union leaders have already floated the idea of significant pay raises and the restoration of previously frozen pension plans, as reported by Bloomberg.

With a legal background that includes stints as a federal prosecutor and as counsel in the Obama White House, Amuluru brings a different perspective to the position. "Uma is a superb leader with a strong track record of building terrific teams and strengthening complex organizations," said Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun in a statement obtained by PR Newswire. The company has signaled that investing in its global workforce, which numbers approximately 170,000, will be a priority under Amuluru's leadership.

During her previous role as vice president and general counsel at Boeing’s defense and space unit since early 2023, Amuluru has honed her experience in guiding ethical behavior and compliance within the company. Her depth of experience in navigating complex environments will likely prove invaluable, as Boeing faces a turbulent period marked by the upcoming contract negotiations. Michael D’Ambrose, her predecessor, will stay on board until July to ensure a smooth transition, as noted by The Seattle Times.

Amuluru's tenure in Boeing's executive ranks has been marked by increasing responsibilities, including serving as the company’s first chief compliance officer, where she was responsible for instilling the company’s values among its employees. Her move to the top HR position at Boeing underlines a broader strategy where leaders with a legal and compliance background are taking up roles traditionally held by long-term HR executives.>