Updated March 26th, 2024 at 19:10 IST

Boeing initiates search for external CEO amid ongoing crisis

Decision to seek an external CEO comes as Boeing grapples with a series of setbacks, including a recent mid-air panel blowout on a 737 MAX aircraft in January.

Reported by: Business Desk
Boeing | Image:AP
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Boeing's board of directors has launched a search for an external candidate to lead the aerospace giant, aiming to address the company's deepening crisis following CEO Dave Calhoun's turbulent tenure. Amid mounting pressure from stakeholders and ongoing challenges, industry insiders and analysts anticipate Boeing will turn to an outsider to steer the company back on course.

The decision to seek an external CEO comes as Boeing grapples with a series of setbacks, including a recent mid-air panel blowout on a 737 MAX aircraft in January. The incoming CEO will inherit a range of critical tasks, from improving safety culture and addressing quality issues to rebuilding trust with regulators, customers, and the public.

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Additionally, Boeing faces the challenge of ramping up production and enhancing cash flow to reduce debt and compete more effectively against European rival Airbus. While Stephanie Pope was previously seen as a potential successor, her recent appointment as head of Boeing's commercial airplanes division has shifted the focus towards an external candidate.

Among the speculated contenders for the CEO position are GE CEO Larry Culp, known for his leadership at the historic conglomerate, and Pat Shanahan, former Boeing executive and current head of MAX fuselage supplier Spirit Aerosystems. However, both individuals have indicated other priorities or potential hesitations about taking on the role.

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Other potential candidates include former Boeing CFO Greg Smith and Boeing board member David Gitlin. Analysts suggest that Boeing may favour an outsider to bring a fresh perspective and address ongoing safety concerns.

(With Reuters inputs)
 

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Published March 26th, 2024 at 19:10 IST