Former Boeing, Rockwell executive John A. McLuckey remembered


John A. McLuckey, former president of Boeing Space Systems and a senior executive of Boeing heritage company Rockwell International, is shown in 2010 at the Boeing dedication ceremony for Autonetics employees in Anaheim, Calif. At right is Rick Stephens, senior vice president of Human Resources and Administration.

John A. McLuckey, former president of Boeing Space Systems and a senior executive of Rockwell International, died late last week.

During an aerospace career that spanned four decades, McLuckey played a key role in shaping the aerospace and defense businesses of North American Aviation, Rockwell International and later Boeing. Before retiring in 1998, McLuckey led the integration of the McDonnell Douglas and Boeing space businesses, forming the foundation for the space and communications unit of what is now Boeing Defense, Space & Security.


Recalling McLuckey’s many contributions, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Jim Albaugh said: "John was a great leader and a driving force behind many of Rockwell's and Boeing's business achievements. He worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the merger while actively mentoring a number of Boeing’s subsequent leaders.”

Albaugh had succeeded McLuckey upon his retirement, becoming president of Boeing Space & Communications in 1998.

Widely recognized in the industry for his business acumen, McLuckey also shared the engineer’s passion for innovation and detail, and was known for his keen ability to spot and grow emerging talent. 

“John was recognized as a strong businessman and provided many young leaders experiences that challenged and enabled them to grow into larger and more responsible positions in the company,” said Rick Stephens, senior vice president of Human Resources and Administration, who worked with McLuckey and was vice president and general manager of Reusable Space Systems at the time of McLuckey’s retirement.


In 1959 McLuckey joined North American Aviation Inc., the predecessor of Rockwell International. He later became president of Rockwell Autonetics which, from the 1960s to the 1990s, employed tens of thousands of workers who developed and produced advanced electronics, navigation and guidance technologies for the U.S. military, and numerous commercial applications. 

Boeing International President and Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategy Shep Hill noted: “John left an indelible imprint on all of the companies that now comprise today’s Boeing. His impact on the lives of thousands of employees, especially those who had the privilege of working closely with him, is immeasurable.”


At a dedication ceremony in 2010, where Boeing officials commemorated the significant contributions of Autonetics employees, McLuckey told reporters, "It gives me a really warm feeling that so many of these retirees now have something tangible that they can bring their kids, their grandkids to and show the importance of the work they did here."

McLuckey worked with other Rockwell retirees and Boeing to develop the concept for a monument to the employees and their accomplishments and was instrumental in bringing it to fruition. 

"So many people spent 30, 40 even 50 years here," McLuckey said at the dedication ceremony. "They had a true passion, and their work should be remembered."

By Michelle Bandoian