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Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun announces departure by year end

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Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun has set to step down from his position. This decision, announced by the company on Monday, marks a significant management change amidst the aircraft manufacturer’s ongoing struggles with production issues and recent incidents, including a mid-air door panel blowout on a Boeing 737 Max 9 plane, which has prompted regulatory scrutiny.

According to a statement released by Boeing, Calhoun will continue to serve as CEO until the end of 2024, tasked with overseeing critical initiatives aimed at stabilizing the company and positioning it for future growth.

Calhoun’s impending departure follows a four-year tenure during which he assumed the CEO role with the primary objective of stabilizing Boeing following the tragic crashes of Boeing aircraft in 2018 and 2019. However, challenges persisted, notably highlighted by the January mid-air incident involving a Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliner.

Timothy Hubbard, assistant professor of management at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, emphasized the need for a cultural shift within Boeing regarding safety and quality, suggesting that new leadership could expedite necessary changes.

The recent incident involving an Alaska Airlines flight in January, which necessitated an emergency landing due to a blown door plug shortly after takeoff, has intensified scrutiny of Boeing’s operations. Calhoun described this event as a “watershed moment” for the company, underscoring the imperative of prioritizing safety and quality across all levels.

As Boeing prepares for its next chapter, Calhoun emphasized the importance of selecting a CEO capable of navigating the complexities of the aerospace industry, particularly in driving future aircraft development, which he estimated to be a $50 billion investment.

Furthermore, Boeing announced additional changes to its leadership structure, with board chair Larry Kellner opting not to seek reelection. Steve Mollenkopf, former CEO of Qualcomm, has been elected to succeed Kellner as independent board chair and will lead the process of selecting Boeing’s next CEO.

Dave Calhoun assumed the CEO role at Boeing in January 2020, succeeding Dennis Muilenburg, who was dismissed in the aftermath of the two fatal crashes involving Boeing 737 aircraft.

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