Boeing C.E.O. to Step Down in Major Reshuffle at Embattled Plane Maker

Photo of author
Written By Admin

Boeing announced Monday that its chief executive, David Calhoun, would step down at the end of 2024 as part of a broad management shake-up, as the aircraft maker grapples with its most significant safety crisis in years.

Stan Deal, the head of the division that makes planes for commercial customers, will retire immediately and will be replaced by Stephanie Pope, the company’s chief operating officer.

The company also announced that its chairman, Larry Kellner, would not stand for re-election.

The management overhaul comes less than three months after a panel, known as a door plug, blew off a Boeing Max 9 during an Alaska Airlines flight on Jan. 5. The incident plunged the company into crisis after crashes in 2018 and 2019 of its Max 8 planes that killed nearly 350 people.

The Alaska incident renewed questions about the safety of Max planes and Boeing’s commitment to quality. Airline chief executives publicly expressed frustration with the manufacturer. The Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates the plane maker, grounded similar planes across the United States. When it cleared the planes to fly again, it also imposed limits on Boeing’s planned production increase of Max planes, foiling the company’s latest attempt to compete with its European rival Airbus.

In recent weeks, Boeing has come under mounting scrutiny. An F.A.A. audit of Boeing’s Max production found dozens of lapses. The agency gave Boeing 90 days to address its issues.

In a note to employees on Monday announcing the leadership changes, Mr. Calhoun said that the Jan. 5 incident involving Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 “was a watershed moment for Boeing.”

“The eyes of the world are on us, and I know we will come through this moment a better company, building on all the learnings we accumulated as we worked together to rebuild Boeing over the last number of years,” he said.

Boeing’s board appointed Mr. Calhoun chief executive after firing his predecessor, Dennis A. Muilenburg, who had led the company during the 2018 and 2019 crashes. Mr. Calhoun, who assumed the company’s leadership in January 2020, had been a member of the manufacturer’s board since 2009. He spent much of his career at General Electric, where he was once vice chairman and headed the company’s infrastructure division.

Ms. Pope has seen a relatively rapid ascent in recent years. In early 2022, she was promoted from her role as chief financial officer of the company’s commercial airplanes division to head of Boeing Global Services, which provides aftermarket support to customers. In December, she was appointed chief operating officer of Boeing, a move that was seen as setting her up to take over for Mr. Calhoun.

Since the door plug incident in January, Mr. Calhoun has repeatedly affirmed the company’s commitment to quality and safety. But pressure continued to rise on him and Boeing. The company’s announcement in February that the head of its 737 Max program was leaving the company did little to address the growing criticism.

Chief executives at major airlines in the United States were set to meet with Mr. Kellner and other board members this week, according to a person familiar with the plans. Mr. Calhoun was supportive of those meetings but was not going to attend them.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.

Source link

Leave a Comment