Embattled Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun steps down

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun announced on Monday his decision to step down at the end of 2024, alongside several other executives leaving their positions, amidst ongoing concerns regarding the safety of the company’s aircraft.

Calhoun, who assumed the CEO role in 2020, referred to the Jan. 5 incident involving Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, where a door blew off a Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft mid-flight, as a “watershed” moment for the company.

He emphasized the need for Boeing to respond with “humility and complete transparency” while prioritizing “total commitment to safety and quality at every level of our company.”

In an interview with CNBC, Calhoun affirmed that the decision to step down was entirely his own. Board chairman Larry Kellner will not seek re-election at the upcoming annual shareholders meeting, and Steve Mollenkopf has been chosen as his successor.

Additionally, Stan Deal, the CEO of commercial airplanes, is retiring effective immediately, with Stephanie Pope taking over his role.

Boeing extended the mandatory retirement age from 65 to 70 in April 2021 to allow Calhoun, who is currently 66, to continue serving as CEO. Calhoun joined Boeing’s board of directors in 2009 and became chairman in late 2019 before assuming the CEO position.

The company’s previous CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, was dismissed in December 2019 due to his handling of two fatal crashes involving Boeing aircraft in 2018 and 2019, resulting in the deaths of 346 passengers and crew members.

Since the Alaska Airlines incident in January, Boeing has faced renewed regulatory scrutiny from the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board, with the latter launching a separate investigation in March into another incident involving a “stuck” pedal on the rudder of a Boeing 737 Max 8.

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