Boeing CEO steps down amid backlash

Dave Calhoun has departed from Boeing after leading the company for four years.

Boeing CEO and two other executives are stepping down amid an ongoing safety crisis and federal investigation into the safety of Boeing passenger jets.

Driving the news: CEO Dave Calhoun confirmed his departure by the end of the year, while Stan Deal, CEO and president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, has retired immediately. Larry Kellner, chair of the board of directors, will not stand for re-election.


  • The company has faced negative stories since a door panel blew out on a Boeing 737 Max plane flown by Alaska Airlines in January. The FBI is investigating the incident as a potential crime.
  • Despite efforts by Boeing to improve safety, some passengers still express concerns about flying on their aircraft. Calhoun acknowledges the Alaska Airlines incident as a “watershed moment for Boeing” and emphasizes the need for transparency and a commitment to safety and quality.
  • Calhoun was appointed CEO in 2020 following two other air disasters involving the failures of a Boeing software system known as MCAS.

The backstory: Calhoun promised to change the internal culture at Boeing, acknowledging weaknesses in leadership. Boeing agreed to pay a $2.5 billion penalty to settle criminal charges over concealing information about the 737 Max airplane.

  • Boeing is urged to develop a plan to improve its culture and practices to meet safety standards.
  • Analysts and authorities call for a drastic cultural overhaul at Boeing and its parts supplier, Spirit AeroSystems, to address ongoing issues.
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