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A Timeline of Dave Calhoun’s Rocky Tenure at Boeing


When Boeing named Dave Calhoun its chief executive in 2019, his mandate was clear: to navigate the company out of a reputational crisis after a pair of deadly crashes on its planes. But on Monday, Boeing announced that Mr. Calhoun would depart at the end of 2024 as the company tries to manage another safety crisis.

Here are some of the most notable episodes from Mr. Calhoun’s tenure, including the grounding of 737 Max jets, supply disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Jan. 5 incident this year in which a door panel blew off a Max jet at 16,000 feet.

December 2019

Mr. Calhoun, who had been on Boeing’s board of directors since 2009, is named chief executive after the ouster of Dennis A. Muilenburg, the embattled leader who had been criticized for his handling of two crashes on Boeing Max 8 planes that killed nearly 350 people in 2018 and 2019. Max planes were grounded after those crashes.

A week before the company announces Mr. Calhoun’s new role, Boeing says that it is suspending global production of the Max. It had already cut production to 42 planes per month from 52.

March 2020

Two months into the job, Mr. Calhoun blames his predecessor for fostering a flawed internal culture. In an interview with New York Times reporters, Mr. Calhoun criticizes Mr. Muilenburg for boosting production rates to a level that compromised plane safety.

“Boards are invested in their C.E.O.s until they’re not,” Mr. Calhoun says.

“We had a backup plan,” he adds. “I am the backup plan.”

April 2020

Dealing with the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, Boeing announces that it will lay off around 16,000 workers, or 10 percent of its work force. Months later, the company moves the production of the 787 Dreamliner out of a unionized plant in Everett, Wash., to a nonunionized plant in South Carolina. Hundreds more engineers retired in late 2022.

Since then, Boeing and its suppliers have struggled to hire back workers, complicating efforts to ramp up production of the Max jets. Now, the company is at odds with the union that represents more than 30,000 Seattle-area mechanics, who are at the negotiating table seeking a new contract.

Nov. 18, 2020

The Federal Aviation Administration clears the Max jet to resume flights, after what the agency calls “design changes” along with “changes to crew procedures and training enhancements.”

The groundings cost Boeing around $20 billion by the time the Max jets return to service.

Jan. 7, 2021

In the final days of the Trump administration, the Justice Department reaches a deal for Boeing to pay more than $2.5 billion in exchange for immunity from criminal prosecution for the Max jet crashes.

The Justice Department is now reviewing whether Boeing complied with the terms of that deal after a safety incident aboard an Alaska Airlines flight raised questions about the company’s safety and quality-control processes.

April 2021

Months after Max jets resumed flying, Boeing notifies 16 airlines and other customers of a potential electrical problem with the Max and recommends that they temporarily stop flying some planes. The company refused to say how many planes were affected. (The F.A.A. approved a fix one month later to let the planes resume operating.)

Dec. 28, 2023

Boeing instructs airlines to inspect its planes for possible loose bolts after an airline discovered the issue during a routine inspection.

A terrifying incident on a Boeing 737 Max jet — a door panel flies off an Alaska Airlines flight at 16,000 feet — casts new light on the company’s safety procedures under Mr. Calhoun.

A report from the National Transportation Safety Board states that four bolts meant to secure the panel were removed and apparently not replaced at Boeing’s facility in Renton, Wash.

The F.A.A. grounds more than 170 Boeing Max jets to undergo additional safety inspections. Executives for Boeing’s customers, including the chief executives of United Airlines and Alaska Air, lash out at Boeing. Alaska Air has said the grounding of the Max jets would cost it $150 million.

Jan. 24, 2024

The F.A.A. announces that Boeing will be barred from expanding production until the company addresses its quality-control processes, a blow to the company’s aspirations to increase production of the Max planes to the level it had before the deadly crashes.

“This won’t be back to business as usual for Boeing,” Mike Whitaker, the F.A.A. administrator, says. He adds that the agency will not sign off on any expansions in production or additional production lines for the Max jet “until we are satisfied that the quality control issues uncovered during this process are resolved.”

One month later, the F.A.A. says it is giving Boeing 90 days, roughly until late May, to develop a plan to address quality-control issues.

Jan. 31, 2024

Boeing suspends its financial outlook for 2024, indicating that it is redoubling its efforts to focus on safety and quality-control issues. The full financial effect of the Jan. 5 incident is not yet known.

Since the Jan. 5 incident, Boeing’s share price has fallen more than 20 percent.

March 11, 2024

A New York Times report finds that Boeing failed 33 of 89 safety audits from the F.A.A. The report also shows that Spirit AeroSystems, the supplier that makes the body of the 737 Max, failed seven of 13 audits.



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