Tough Calls Await on Boeing Defense Bid

CEO can fold if feds deny appeal on tanker, or ramp up lobbying
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2008 3:24 PM CDT
In this artist's depiction provided by Northrop Grumman Corp., a KC-45A refuels a B-2 stealth bomber.   (AP Photo/Northrop Grumman Corp)
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(Newser) – The Government Accountability Office must rule by next Thursday on Boeing’s appeal of an Air Force deal granting European rival Airbus a multi-billion dollar tanker contract—and CEO Jim McNerney has a tough call ahead if Boeing loses, the Seattle Times reports. He can ground the appeal, or draw more attention to political concerns neither the military nor GAO was allowed to consider.

With documents in the case heavily redacted, McNerney could have to decide whether to press the political fight—centering on the potential for lost US jobs—based on little information about why he lost. But, one analyst says, "Boeing is unlikely to give up, because in the process of conceding they would open the door for a major Airbus presence in their home market."