David Calhoun, Boeing’s new CEO, made headlines last week in an interview with the New York Times in which he essentially threw former CEO Dennis Muilenburg under the bus. A number of highly critical statements were made about the former CEO, including “if anyone ran over the rainbow for the pot of gold on stock, it would have been him.” The industry reacted quickly and harshly to those statements, with incredulity that the Boeing CEO would make such statements.
Calhoun is correct to have regrets over his prior statements, which were damaging to the company and potentially provided ammunition for those suing Boeing, as it implied that the company was motivated by profits to cut corners. Coming from someone with ten years on the Boeing Board of Directors, this is likely to result in increased rather than decreased scrutiny on the development of the 737 MAX and leadership directives to cut costs. With an on-going federal investigation underway, this is exactly what Boeing doesn’t need today, as it exacerbates their legal difficulties.
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