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Boeing CEO Resigns Amid Safety Emergencies

by Violet Dawson
0 comment

As part of the management pass, Stan Deal, who led Boeing’s commercial airplanes business, has also left his position with immediate effect.

Boeing‘s CEO has announced his plans to step down amid a major shakeup in the company’s management. This move comes as Boeing works hard to rebuild its reputation following a frightening incident involving a cabin panel blowout.

Dave Calhoun, the current CEO, will leave his position at the end of the year. Larry Kellner, the chair of Boeing’s board of directors, will also be stepping down. In the months leading up to his exit, Calhoun intends to supervise important work to stabilize and position the company for the future.

Boeing has been under pressure to reassure regulators, airlines, and passengers ever since a brand-new 737 Max 9 jet experienced an emergency landing in January. This incident led to the grounding of 171 Max 9 jets for many weeks and established the biggest safety crisis for Boeing since the crashes of two of its Max 8 jets in 2018 and 2019, resulting in the loss of 346 lives.

As part of the management pass, Stan Deal, who led Boeing’s commercial airplanes business, has also left his position with immediate effect. Stephanie Pope, the group’s chief operating officer, has taken over Dave’s role.

Calhoun expressed his confidence in the company’s ability to overcome these challenges, stating, “The eyes of the world are on us, and I know that we will come through this moment a better company.”

Steve Mollenkopf, a member of Boeing’s board of directors since 2020, is set to replace Kellner as chair and lead the search for Calhoun’s replacement. Calhoun’s appointment as CEO in January 2020 followed his tenure as chairman of the board the previous year.

The management changes come amid a regression in Boeing’s stock value and increased scrutiny from regulators and airlines. An initial report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) revealed that the cabin panel that blew off Alaska’s Max 9 jet appeared to be the incident and has been investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the US Department of Justice in January.

The company claims to cooperate “fully and transparently” with the National Transport Safety Board. After a thorough investigation, it was found that the bolts that help keep the panel intact were missing after the 737 MAX 9 Alaska was repaired at the Boeing factory.

The FAA also allocated 90 days for the company to develop a plan to address the quality control issues. It mentioned that “the company must commit to real and profound improvements.” The FAA also conducted a six-week-long audit of the company’s product line, discovering multiple compliance failures.

Calhoun acknowledges Boeing’s need to regain trust, particularly in the aftermath of the panel blowout. However, his tenure as CEO also coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which severely impacted the global travel industry. Despite efforts to recover, Boeing’s stock has yet to reach pre-pandemic levels.

In response to the management changes, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has expressed his approval, calling them “a very needed action.” Now, the spotlight is on who will take over Calhoun’s position as CEO. Although Calhoun himself did not give any hint about the probable replacement, he seemed to be in awe of Stephanie Pope’s years of experience at Boeing and her reputation as a great leader.

Contrary to this position, however, some critics maintain that these leadership shifts have been long overdue. On the other hand, Calhoun’s exit is a good step in the right direction, according to Justice Green, a lawyer representing victims of the Ethiopian Flight 302 crash in 2019, but stresses that Boeing’s next CEO must put safety before profit.

With the safety issue hanging over its head and the determination to regain the lost trust and confidence from its leadership and the quality of its product, Boeing finds itself on a challenging path.

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