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14 June, 2024
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Boeing CEO to step down in wake of safety scandals

Fallout from near-catastrophic Alaska Airlines incident


Boeing, the renowned U.S. aircraft manufacturer, announced significant changes in its leadership, with CEO Dave Calhoun set to depart by year-end. This move comes as part of a broader management restructuring aimed at addressing recent challenges faced by the company.

As reported by Al Jazeera, alongside Calhoun's departure, Chairman Larry Kellner will exit the board, making way for Steve Mollenkopf to assume the role. Furthermore, Stan Deal, the current president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, will retire, with Stephanie Pope slated to take over leadership of that division.

The decision follows a string of incidents that have plagued Boeing's reputation, including a recent harrowing episode involving a 737 MAX 9 Alaska Airlines jet. In January, the aircraft experienced a near-catastrophic event when a panel blew out mid-flight, prompting an emergency landing. While there were no serious injuries, the incident drew intense scrutiny, reminiscent of the scrutiny faced by Boeing after the 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019, which claimed 346 lives.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ramped up its oversight of Boeing, ordering an audit of assembly lines at a factory near Seattle. Investigators discovered missing bolts crucial for panel security after repair work on the Alaska Airlines jet, adding to concerns about Boeing's quality control procedures.

In response, the FAA has given Boeing a 90-day ultimatum to devise a comprehensive plan addressing these issues. Calhoun acknowledged the gravity of the situation, emphasizing the company's commitment to prioritizing safety and quality in a letter to staff.

Boeing's recent troubles extend beyond the Alaska Airlines incident, with other incidents including an engine fire on a Boeing 747 and an emergency landing of a Boeing 777 due to a wheel detachment. Additionally, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner experienced a sudden altitude drop, prompting an investigation by New Zealand authorities.

Calhoun described the Alaska Airlines incident as a "watershed moment" for Boeing, stressing the importance of humility and transparency in the company's response. As Boeing navigates these challenges, the spotlight remains firmly on its efforts to regain trust and ensure the safety of its aircraft.

[With information sourced from Al Jazeera]

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