Boeing undergoes major leadership shakeup amid ongoing challenges and losses

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun to resign

In a major shakeup of Boeing’s leadership, CEO Dave Calhoun announced on Monday his intention to leave the company by the end of the year. The company’s chairman and the head of the commercial airplane unit are also departing.

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 ongoing challenges that Boeing has faced for over five years have led to this major shakeup in leadership. These challenges include two fatal crashes of the 737 Max in 2018 and 2019 that resulted in 346 fatalities and a recent Alaska Airlines 737 Max door plug blowout in January that caused 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 incidents “watershed moments for Boeing” and emphasized the importance of fixing issues and restoring the company’s reputation. He took leadership during a challenging period when there was a 20-month grounding of the 737 Max due to a design flaw and when Covid-19 severely impacted air travel and Boeing’s customers.

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