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Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun announced his decision to step down at the end of the year following increased scrutiny of Boeing.

In a letter to employees, Calhoun said that his departure had been in consideration for a while and vowed to ensure a seamless leadership transition within the company. In his letter, Calhoun also acknowledged the midair blowout of an Alaska Airlines door plug. He said, “As you all know, the Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 accident was a watershed moment for Boeing. We must continue to respond to this accident with humility and complete transparency. We also must inculcate a total commitment to safety and quality at every level of our company.”

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The incident with Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, which saw a fuselage panel detach at 16,000 feet, has spotlighted Boeing’s safety protocols and manufacturing practices.

Since taking the helm in 2020, Calhoun considered his role as CEO to be the “greatest privilege of his life,” initially accepting the position at the behest of Boeing’s board. Alongside Calhoun’s departure, the company announced several key leadership changes, including the exit of Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, replaced by Stephanie Pope, Boeing’s newly appointed chief operating officer with an extensive 30-year tenure at the company.

This comes as the company faces multiple investigations by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Justice Department, probing into its safety culture and manufacturing processes. The FAA has criticized Boeing’s safety culture as “inadequate and confusing,” particularly in light of two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019 involving the 737 Max jetliners. Additionally, legal challenges are mounting against Boeing, with lawsuits filed by passengers and shareholders alike, citing significant safety oversights.


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