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    Tuesday, June 4, 2024

    Boeing's Calhoun says Its Board is Ready to Make Decisions for Succession

    Boeing's outgoing CEO David Calhoun told Reuters on Tuesday that the planemaker's board would decide his successor and he would support its choice.

    Calhoun is set to step down by the end of the year as part of a broad management shakeup brought on by the planemaker's safety crisis, exacerbated by a January mid-air panel blowout on a new 737 MAX plane operated by Alaska Airlines.

    Speculation has grown over his successor. Calhoun supports Stephanie Pope, the head of Boeing's commercial division, while investors, analysts and others have called for a new top executive with both CEO and engineering experience.

    "The board is prepared to make their decisions, they have time to be able to make them," Calhoun told Reuters on the sidelines of an aviation conference in Berlin, adding that he is committed to getting the company through its recovery.

    Later on stage, Calhoun said he would support whoever is chosen for the role.

    "It has been thought through. Okay, we'll get to a conclusion. It'll be a great one, and I'll be the most supportive player in the field," he said.

    Calhoun has been a Boeing board member since 2009, and was named CEO in 2020 to help turn the U.S. plane maker around following two fatal crashes involving the MAX, its strongest-selling jet.

    However, Boeing has lost market share to competitor Airbus and its share price has fallen nearly 32% this year as production of the MAX plummeted this spring.


    Following the Alaska Airlines incident on Jan. 5, U.S. regulators have curbed the company's production ceiling.

    Calhoun reiterated the planemaker's commitment to safety and transparency, especially in the wake of the Alaska Airlines incident, emphasizing that Boeing was now a "different" company.

    Boeing is also under renewed scrutiny from the U.S. Justice Department, which is weighing whether to advance criminal charges against the company for violating a non-prosecution agreement stemming from the two crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed nearly 350 people.

    Calhoun said the company wanted to be open with regulators about Boeing's processes and its efforts to reinforce safety.

    "Most importantly (we want to be) in tune with the fleet and then transparent about it," Calhoun said. Reuters 

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