Boeing CEO steps down after series of accidents

Boeing CEO steps down after series of accidents

Boeing announced Monday that CEO Dave Calhoun will step down at the end of this year as the plane maker faces increased scrutiny following a series of high-profile accidents.

Calhoun, in a letter to employees on Monday, announced his plans to step down and revealed that he had been “contemplating for some time” the appropriate point for a CEO transition at the company.

The letter opened with a reference to the Alaska Airlines airburst in January, when a Boeing 737 Max 9 fuselage panel exploded and left a gaping hole while the plane was at 16,000 feet over Oregon. The plane was forced to make an emergency landing, and although no serious injuries were reported, the incident led to a series of investigations into Boeing’s production and safety compliance procedures.

“As you all know, the Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 accident was a watershed moment for Boeing,” Calhoun wrote in his letter. “We must continue to respond to this incident with humility and full transparency. We must also instill a total commitment to safety and quality at every level in “Our company.” “The eyes of the world are on us, and I know that we will emerge from this moment into a better company, based on all the lessons we have accumulated as we worked together to rebuild Boeing over the past years.”

Calhoun, 66, told employees that he initially accepted the CEO role at the request of Boeing’s board of directors, which he said was “the greatest privilege of my life.” He began working in this role in 2020.

A series of other personnel and board changes will also be made at the company, including the immediate departure of Stan Diehl, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. He was replaced Monday by Stephanie Pope, who recently became Boeing’s chief operating officer and has nearly 30 years of experience at the company, Calhoun said.

Boeing added that Chairman Larry Kellner will step down later this year and will not run for re-election at Boeing’s annual meeting in May. Steve Mollenkopf, who has served on the board since 2020, will succeed Kellner as chairman and lead the board’s process to select Boeing’s next CEO.

Boeing faces multiple investigations into its production and manufacturing process in the wake of the January explosion.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) — which is investigating both the explosion and changes made after two Boeing plane crashes in 2018 and 2019 — described the company’s safety culture as “inadequate and confusing” in a report last month. Boeing 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019 killed 346 people.

The Justice Department also began a criminal investigation into Boeing earlier this month after the company admitted it was unable to find records requested by the National Transportation Safety Board regarding work done on the exploded panel.

Three lawsuits were filed earlier this year over the explosion, including two separate suits involving a group of passengers and a third from shareholders for “serious safety lapses.”

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