Boeing chief executive and chairman to step down as firm faces safety crisis

25 March 2024, 12:39 | Updated: 25 March 2024, 12:51

Boeing airplanes stand in various stages of maintenance outside the Boeing Renton Factory in Renton, Washington, USA
Boeing airplanes stand in various stages of maintenance outside the Boeing Renton Factory in Renton, Washington, USA. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

The CEO of Boeing has announced plans to resign as the plane firm fights to repair its reputation.

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Dave Calhoun will step down at the end of this year.

The company has faced intense scrutiny after a brand-new 737 Max 9 jet was forced into an emergency landing in January.

In 2018 and 2019, 346 people were killed when two of the company’s Max 8 jets crashed.

Boeing also confirmed that Stan Deal, the boss of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, was leaving “effective immediately”.

In January, a brand-new 737 Max 9 jet was forced into an emergency landing following a terrifying cabin panel blowout.

No-one was injured during the incident.

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The plane was flying 16,000ft over Oregon on January 5 when the panel blew out, leaving a gaping hole in the side.

The rapid loss of cabin pressure caused oxygen masks to drop from the ceiling, and suction as air rushed from the hole exerted force on people inside the plane.

Pilots were able to land safely in Portland, Oregon, and none of the 171 passengers and six crew members were seriously injured.

Investigators say it appears that four bolts used to help secure the panel were missing after the plane was worked on at a Boeing factory in Renton, Washington.

Published reports and government officials have said the US Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into whether the panel blowout violated terms of a 2021 settlement that let Boeing avoid prosecution for allegedly misleading regulators who certified the 737 Max.

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