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Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun to step down

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Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun will step down at the end of the year, the company said in an announcement Monday.

The move comes amid fallout from a high-profile safety failure onboard an Alaska Airlines flight in January, when a door plug blew out of Boeing’s 737 Max 9 aircraft while the plane was in flight.

In a statement on Monday, Calhoun acknowledged the challenges facing Boeing.

“The eyes of the world are on us, and I know that we will come through this moment a better company,” Calhoun said. “We will remain squarely focused on completing the work we have done together to return our company to stability after the extraordinary challenges of the past five years, with safety and quality at the forefront of everything that we do.”

Board Chair Larry Kellner, a board member for nearly 15 years, plans to forgo nomination for an additional term at the company’s annual shareholder meeting this spring, Boeing said.

Steve Mollenkopf, former CEO of chipmaker Qualcomm, will immediately take over as Boeing board chair and lead the search for a new chief executive, Boeing added.

The leadership change will also impact Boeing’s board of directors, the company said.

Calhoun, who served as CEO for four years, began his tenure in the aftermath of a previous safety scandal.

In 2019, Boeing 737 Max aircraft were grounded worldwide following a pair of crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed a combined 346 people. The aircraft were permitted to again take to the skies in 2021, following a two-year ban.

The renewed scrutiny over the incident aboard Alaska Airlines Flight 128 on Jan. 5 includes an investigation undertaken by a federal safety regulator and a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice.

On Monday, in a letter to employees, Calhoun called on the embattled company to focus on openness as it weathers the difficult period.

“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,” Calhoun said.

“The eyes of the world are on us, and I know we will come through this moment a better company, building on all the learnings we accumulated as we worked together to rebuild Boeing over the last number of years,” he added.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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