Boeing CEO Stepping Down Amidst Growing Number of Accidents

( – Dave Calhoun, CEO of Boeing, has announced his resignation and plans to stop down from his role at the end of 2024. The announcement comes as the manufacturing company faces mounting scrutiny over several high-profile accidents that prompted investigations into the company’s safety compliance procedures.

In a letter to staff, the CEO announced the plans and said he had been considering the appropriate CEO transition at Boeing for “some time.” The letter referenced the blowout that occurred midair in January when one of Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737 Max 9s was forced to make an emergency landing. The fuselage panel blew off, leaving a gaping hole in the aircraft as it was flying 16,000 feet above Oregon. No serious injuries were reported.

The incident on January 5 raised serious concerns about safety compliance at Boeing. The Federal Aviation Administration’s investigation found that the company failed 33 of 89 product audits conducted by the agency related to the manufacturing of its planes. Stan Deal, the head of Boeing’s commercial airplanes unit, has already left the company. Boeing announced Stephanie Pope as Deal’s replacement.

Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, welcomed the change of management. O’Leary stressed that Deal had done a good job with sales at Boeing but commented that he was not the right person to turn the operation around in Seattle, adding that this is where “most of the problems” were. Ryanair is a major customer of Boeing. Other companies hit by the recall of the Boeing 737 Max 9 ordered by the FAA included Copa, which temporarily suspended 21 of the planes. United Airlines canceled 247, or roughly 9% of its scheduled flights. Alaska Airlines canceled 163, or 21% of its scheduled flights.

Cai von Rumohr, an aerospace analyst at financial services company TD Cowen, commented that the management changes were a step forward in improving safety measures and reassuring investors in the company. He noted that Calhoun’s eight-month notice allowed Boeing to make an informed decision about his replacement.

AeroDynamic Advisory consultant and aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia described it as a “pivotal moment” in Boeing’s history. Aboulafia suggested that Patrick Shanahan, a former executive at Boeing who acted as U.S. defense secretary under the Trump administration, would be a good candidate for the position of CEO.

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