Home ‘Eyes of the world are on us’: Boeing CEO to step down by end of 2024
Economy, US & World

‘Eyes of the world are on us’: Boeing CEO to step down by end of 2024

Rebecca Barnabi
(© Jag_cz – stock.adobe.com)

The CEO of Boeing, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, will step down by the end of 2024 after a series of mishaps with the plane maker and aerospace company’s Max line.

David Calhoun’s departure was announced today, as well as the retirement of company president Stan Deal, effective immediately, and the fact that board chairman Larry Kellner will not stand for re-election, as reported by NPR.

In January 2024, the in-flight door plug blew out on an Alaska Airlines 737 Max jet over Portland. While no one was injured, questions about quality control and safety arose again. In 2018 and 2019, a pair of airplane crashes killed a total of 346 passengers.

“The Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 accident was a watershed moment for Boeing,” Calhoun wrote in a letter to Boeing employees. “The eyes of the world are on us, and I know we will come through this moment a better company.”

When the National Transportation Safety Board investigated the Alaska Airlines incident, it was found that four key bolts were missing when the plane left Boeing’s factory. A criminal investigation is underway by the Justice Department.

“Boeing needs to become a better company,” said Bob Jordan, CEO of Southwest Airlines, during an investor conference in early March 2024. Jordan added that he and other CEOs have repeatedly told Boeing to fix its problems. “Because we all need Boeing to be stronger two years from now, five years from now, ten years from now.”

A group of airline CEOs are scheduled to meet with Boeing this week, according to the Wall Street Journal, and Calhoun will not attend the meeting.

William Boeing incorporated his company Pacific Aero Products Co. on July 15, 1916 for $100,000. He bought 998 of the 1,000 stocks issued and moved the operation to a shipyard he bought in Seattle in 1910. In 1917, he changed the name to Boeing Airplane Co. Less than three months later, the U.S. Navy ordered Boeing to make 50 seaplane trainers.

William Boeing died of a heart attack on September 28, 1956.

Boeing’s headquarters were moved from Chicago to Arlington in May 2022.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.