Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun to step down; board chair and commercial airplane head replaced in wake of 737 Max crisis


Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun will step down at the end of 2024 in part of a broad management shakeup for the embattled aerospace giant.

Chairman of the board Larry Kellner is also resigning and will not stand for reelection at Boeing’s annual meeting in May. He will be replaced as chair by Steve Mollenkopf, who has been a Boeing director since 2020 and will lead the board in picking a new CEO, Boeing said.

And Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, is leaving the company effective immediately. Moving into his job is Stephanie Pope, who recently became Boeing’s chief operating officer after previously running Boeing Global Services.

The departures come as airlines and regulators have been increasing calls for major changes at the company after a host of quality and manufacturing flaws on Boeing planes. Scrutiny intensified after a Jan. 5 accident, when a door plug blew out of a nearly new Boeing 737 Max 9 minutes into an Alaska Airlines flight.

“As you all know, the Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 accident was a watershed moment for Boeing,” Calhoun wrote to employees on Monday. “We must continue to respond to this accident with humility and complete transparency. We also must inculcate a total commitment to safety and quality at every level of our company.

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 wrote.

Calhoun told CNBC in an interview on Monday that the decision to resign was “100%” his own.

Calhoun was appointed to the top job in late 2019 and took the helm at Boeing in early 2020 after the company ousted its previous chief executive, Dennis Muilenburg, for his handling of the aftermath of two deadly 737 Max crashes.

For months Calhoun has promised investors, airline customers and the general public that Boeing will get its myriad quality struggles under control. The Federal Aviation Administration has stepped up oversight of Boeing, and agency Administrator Mike Whitaker after the Alaska Airlines accident said Boeing will be barred from increasing 737 production until the FAA is satisfied with the company’s quality control.

Boeing’s production problems have delayed deliveries of new planes to customers and hampered growth plans. CEOs of some of the company’s largest customers, including United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines have publicly complained about the delays.

United’s CEO Scott Kirby earlier this month said he urged Boeing to stop making yet-to-be-certified Max 10 planes for the company because it wasn’t clear when the FAA would clear those aircraft to fly.

Last week, airline CEOs started scheduling meetings with Boeing directors to voice their displeasure at the lack of manufacturing quality controls and lower than expected production of 737 Max planes. The meetings were to include Kellner and one or more other board members.

Also last week, Boeing Chief Financial Officer Brian West said at an industry conference that Boeing would burn more cash than expected because of limited 737 Max production.

Boeing’s stock was up more than 3% in premarket trading on Monday after Calhoun’s announcement. The stock is down 27% so far this year, as of Friday’s close.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.



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