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Boeing taps former GE executive Brian West as CFO

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FILE PHOTO: The Boeing logo is pictured at the LABACE fair in Sao Paulo

(Reuters) -Boeing Co on Wednesday named former General Electric executive Brian West as its chief financial officer, more than two months after the planemaker announced the surprise retirement of long-time financial head Greg Smith.

West, who will take charge on Aug. 27, spent 16 years at GE, where he served as CFO of its aviation and engine services businesses.

His appointment comes as Boeing faces one of the most turbulent periods in its history, marked by a safety crisis followed by rising debt during the pandemic.

"I have had the pleasure of working with Brian previously, and he is an exceptional leader," Boeing Chief Executive Officer David Calhoun said in a statement.

West and Calhoun had worked together at GE earlier. West was with the conglomerate from 1990 to 2007, while Calhoun left it in 2006 after 26 years. West then joined Nielsen, which was then headed by Calhoun.

Boeing has named senior vice president Dave Dohnalek as interim financial chief until West takes over.

West has been the CFO of financial market data provider Refinitiv since 2018.

Separately, the planemaker said the board planned to increase the number of directors to 11 from 10.

(Reporting by Shreyasee Raj; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)