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Cars and TransportationUnited States of America

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun to step down by end of 2024

March 25, 2024

Boeing's CEO will step down by the end of the year as part of a broader management shakeup at the company, which has been rocked by a series of safety mishaps in recent months.

David Calhoun, Boeing CEO
Boeing faces tightening scrutiny by US federal regulators after a door plug blew out the side of a 737 Max in JanuaryImage: John Froschauer/AP/picture alliance

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun will step down at the end of 2024, the company announced Monday, after a series of safety issues put the company under strain.

"The eyes of the world are on us, and I know that we will come through this moment a better company," Calhoun said in a letter to staff that referenced putting "safety and quality at the forefront of everything that we do."

The US aviation giant has been beset by safety issues involving its 737 Max-9 aircraft. In January, a door plug ripped off an Alaska Airlines 737 Max-9 flight about 16,000 feet above the ground.

Boeing has since faced heavy scrutiny from US regulators, and authorities curbed production while the company attempts to fix safety and quality issues.

Boeing: Turbulent times for US planemaker

The company added in its statement that Boeing chairman Larry Kellner doesn't plan to stand for re-election. Stan Deal, president and CEO of its commercial airplanes unit, will retire from the company. Stephanie Pope will lead the division.

Alaska Airline flight incident a 'watershed moment' for Boeing

"As you all know, the Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 accident was a watershed moment for Boeing," Calhoun wrote in the letter to staff.

"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."

Flight 1282 was on a path from Portland to Ontario, California, when a door plug blew out mid-air, forcing pilots to make an emergency return to Portland. While there were no serious injuries, the incident sparked an investigation that revealed that no bolts were installed on the door plug of the Max 9 craft. 

Airlines find loose parts in door panels of 737 MAX 9 planes

US media reported earlier this month that the plane had been scheduled to undergo maintenance the night of the incident.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also recently ordered an audit of assembly lines at a Boeing factory near Seattle, where the company builds planes like the Alaska Airlines 737 Max.

The incident has raised scrutiny of Boeing to its highest level since two crashes of Boeing 737 Max jets in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people.

rm/wmr (Reuters, AFP)