Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun to step down in management shakeup amid safety crisis

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun to step down in management shakeup amid safety crisis

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A file photo of Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun will step down by year-end, in a broad management shake-up brought on by the planemaker’s sprawling safety crisis stemming from a January mid-air panel blowout on a 737 MAX plane.

The planemaker also said that Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO, would retire, and Stephanie Pope would lead that business. Steve Mollenkopf has been appointed the new chair of the board.

Mr. Calhoun’s has been under pressure since the January 5 incident, when a door plug ripped off an Alaska Airlines flight about 16,000 feet above the ground. The company is under heavy regulatory scrutiny and U.S. authorities curbed production while it attempts to fix safety and quality issues.

Last week, a group of U.S. airline CEOs sought meetings with Boeing directors to express concern over the Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 accident, saying it was an unusual sign of frustration with the manufacturer’s problems and Mr. Calhoun.

The company is in talks to buy its former subsidiary Spirit AeroSystems as well.

The company’s crisis has frustrated airlines already struggling with delivery delays from both Boeing and its rival Airbus, and the planemaker has been burning more cash than expected in this quarter than expected.

“For years, we prioritized the movement of the airplane through the factory over getting it done right, and that’s got to change,” CFO Brian West said last week.

The company’s main rival, Airbus, clinched orders for 65 jets from two of Boeing’s key Asian customers recently, in what some saw as a sign of executives’ concerns about Boeing. Boeing shares were up 2.2% in premarket trading on the news.

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