Boeing Faces Another Turning Point as CEO and Chairman Depart: Lessons Learned from 737 Max Crashes and Ongoing Challenges

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun to resign

Boeing has experienced major changes in its leadership as CEO Dave Calhoun announced his intention to leave the company by the end of the year. In addition, Larry Kellner, Boeing’s chairman and head of the commercial airplane unit, have also departed.

Boeing’s chairman, Larry Kellner, will not seek reelection as a board director. Former Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf has been elected to succeed him. Additionally, Stan Deal, the CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, is retiring. Stephanie Pope, Boeing’s chief operating officer since January, will assume his position with immediate effect.

The company has faced numerous challenges for over five years, including two fatal crashes of the 737 Max in 2018 and 2019 that resulted in 346 fatalities. Most recently, an Alaska Airlines 737 Max experienced a door plug blowout in January, causing a significant hole in the side of the plane. These issues have led to multiple groundings and more than $31 billion in cumulative losses.

In a letter to Boeing employees, Calhoun called these events a “watershed moment for Boeing.” He emphasized the importance of fixing these issues and regaining stability before restoring the company’s reputation.

Calhoun became chairman of Boeing in late 2019 and CEO in January 2020 during a challenging period for both himself and the company. His tenure included a 20-month grounding of the 737 Max due to a design flaw and the onset of Covid-19 pandemic which severely impacted air travel and Boeing’s customers. This is an ongoing story and will be updated as more information becomes available

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