Ending two weeks of speculation, aerospace giant


(BA) - Get Report

named Michael M. Sears as its new chief financial officer Monday, following the surprise departure of former CFO Deborah C. Hopkins, who left Boeing to become CFO of

Lucent Technologies


, in April.

Sears, 52, was most recently president of Boeing's military aircraft and missiles unit, and is a 30-year veteran of the company. He has held executive positions in each of Boeings' three business sectors: defense, space and commercial aircraft.

Sears replaces Deborah Hopkins, who at 45 was one of the highest ranking female executives in corporate America. As CFO at Seattle-based Boeing, Hopkins was widely credited with a sharp improvement in Boeing's finances.

"Mike will bring fresh, operational thinking to the aggressive target-setting efforts we have put in place," said Phil Condit, chairman and chief executive of Boeing, in a statement.

Walt Skowronski, Boeing's vice president of finance and treasurer, has filled in as temporary CFO since Hopkins quit, and will return to his post.

Gerald E. Daniels will step in to fill Sears' position as president of Boeing's military division. Daniels, 54, formerly served as the president and general manager of the company's

U.S. Navy


Marine Corps


Boeing also announced Monday that Harry C. Stonecipher, will remain president and chief operating officer of the company for at least a year past his scheduled retirement in May 2001.

Boeing stock had not traded in after-hours markets following the announcement Monday. Boeing shares closed down 1 1/4, or 3.2%, at 38 1/4.