Updated Mar 25, 2024 - Business

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun to step down in wake of safety issues

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun is departing a meeting

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun on Jan. 25. Photo: Aaron Schwartz/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun will leave his position at the end of this year, the company announced Monday.

Why it matters: It's the latest fallout for the company, which has faced intense scrutiny over quality and safety issues in recent months after one of its 737 MAX 9 jets experienced a mid-flight door plug blowout in January.

Driving the news: In a message to the company's employees Monday, Calhoun called the blowout a "watershed moment for Boeing."

  • "We must continue to respond to this accident with humility and complete transparency," he said.
  • Calhoun will remain in his role through the rest of the year in order "to complete the critical work underway to stabilize and position the company for the future," Boeing said in a press release.

Zoom out: The leadership shakeup wasn't limited to Calhoun.

  • Larry Kellner, the company's board chairman, will not seek reelection to the role later this year, Calhoun said.
  • Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO, is also retiring from the company effective immediately.

Catch up quick: All Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft were temporarily grounded in U.S. territory after a "plugged" emergency exit door flew off Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 while the plane was at an altitude of nearly 16,000 feet.

  • A federal watchdog said last month that preliminary findings indicated that missing bolts likely contributed to the incident.
  • Subsequent inspections by airlines of Boeing's MAX 9 jets revealed quality control issues, including loose bolts.

The big picture: An independent panel's review of Boeing's practices last month highlighted concerns about how the company manages safety.

Our thought bubble, from Axios business reporter Nathan Bomey: Boeing is under pressure to improve not just its manufacturing processes but also the culture surrounding those processes — and it's tough for current leadership to reshape culture at any company.

Go deeper: Boeing timeline: Tracking the fallout of the door plug blowout

Editor's note: This story was updated with additional details.

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