Boeing CEO and Execs Disembark From the Company Amid Safety Crisis

Boeing CEO and Execs Disembark From the Company Amid Safety Crisis

Dave Calhoun, the CEO of Boeing, announced plans to step down at the end of 2024 on Monday morning. Larger issues with the company’s 737 Max planes were spotlighted this year after the door on an Alaska Airlines flight came loose mid-air.

“As you all know, the Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 accident was a watershed moment for Boeing,” Calhoun said in a message to employees on Monday. “I want to share with you that I have decided this will be my last year as CEO of our great company, and I have notified the board of that decision.”

Calhoun will be joined by several other Boeing executives stepping down on Monday, including the Commercial Airplanes President and CEO, Stan Deal, and Board Chair, Larry Kellner.

The departure of Boeing’s upper management comes as the company faces a crisis in public trust over quality issues. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded Boeing 737 Max 9 models in January after an Alaska Airlines plane lost its door mid-flight. An internal investigation found many of Boeing’s planes had loose bolts. Just last week, major airlines requested to speak with the manufacturer about its strategy for addressing its quality control issues.

Boeing’s incident with Alaska Airlines has prompted greater scrutiny of Boeing’s safety measures. An investigation by the FAA concluded there was no objective evidence of a “foundational commitment to safety.” A Boeing senior manager also recently told the LA Times he would “absolutely not fly a Max airplane.”

The crisis of the world’s largest commercial jet manufacturer took a strange turn when a Boeing whistleblower who raised safety concerns was found dead in a parking lot. John Barnett, a former quality control engineer at Boeing, testified against the company just a week earlier in March, and his attorneys have requested “more information” about what happened to him.

This is hardly the first crisis Boeing has faced. A faulty throttle system on Boeing planes was responsible for an Indonesian plane crashing and killing all 62 people onboard in January 2021. Boeing also admitted full responsibility for an Ethiopian 737 Max crashing and killing 157 passengers on board in 2019.

The exodus of Boeing’s leaders is expected with a scandal of this magnitude. In the months following the Alaska Airlines disaster, reports have shown how there have been large concerns around Boeing’s safety for years. Boeing’s problems seem to be cultural issues, as the company became hyper-focused on pleasing shareholders instead of regulators. The company hopes that a C-suite shuffle will help address these issues.

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