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I worked at Boeing from '88 to '94, writing test software. I liked it. I liked the people and the atmosphere.

I always thought that when Boeing moved its headquarters from Seattle to Chicago that that was the end of something special. They went from being legendary Boeing to just another hyper-corporation who happens to make money doing X or Y or Z.

In my opinion.




Was there something special about the move that ended the era? That in itself doesn't seem harmful to a legendary status.


There was nothing "Boeing" in Chicago at the time. The only thing relevant there in Chicago was United Airlines. They moved top executives physically and culturally away from where everything was being done.

In my opinion, that made the whole company abstract to the executives.


Funny how the opposite can also be true. In 1985, Disney Animation was moved off the Burbank lot to a cluster of buildings about 2 miles away. After the success of Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and the Lion King they moved back onto the lot. Their new building was literally next to where the executives are in the ABC Studios building. I've heard complaints that executives would walk over and make creative decisions whereas being 2 miles away they were mostly left alone.


So, executives doing something other than their job and messing it up. Classic.


How would you compare the relative effects on culture, of the executives moving to Chicago vs. the merger with MDC?


I couldn't say, I paid less and less attention to Boeing as they receded further and further into my past. Everything I said above is opinion and nostalgic lament.


It's such a bad move to move senior ranking staff away from junior.




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