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David Calhoun Takes Over as Boeing’s New Chief Executive

Boeing’s new chief executive, David Calhoun, takes on the role Monday as the U.S. plane maker struggles to recover from two fatal crashes of 737 Max planes that killed 346 people in five months and contributed to the worldwide grounding of the model in March.

Calhoun, 62, a long-time Boeing chairman named in October after the board stripped Dennis Muilenburg of the title, was appointed chief executive on Dec. 23 following the firing of Muilenburg by the board in the midst of growing concerns about the company’s relationship with regulators and its handling of the Max.

Boeing has to date reported Max grounding costs in excess of $9 billion (around Rs. 63,684 crores) and is expected to report significant additional costs during its announcement of earnings in the fourth quarter on Jan. 29. Boeing faces rising costs this month from stopping the Max’s production, offsetting airlines for missed flights and assisting its supply chain. It is also considering raising additional debt.

Calhoun, a long-standing executive at the Blackstone private equity group and corporate crisis manager, is already focused on restoring the company’s partnerships with regulators, airlines and lawmakers. He previously headed a division of General Electric which included airplane engines.

The board and its interim CEO reversed course last week . They recommended regulators allow pilot simulator training before they start flying the Max. Managers also approve the publication of more than 100 pages of negative internal communications. They exposed the company’s efforts to avoid expensive simulator training for the Max in the midst of disturbing culture issues.

David Calhoun’s Future Plans for Boeing

In one email, an employee states the 737 Max is “design by clowns who in turn supervise by monkeys.”A source close to Calhoun said Sunday that it was important employees saw the emails. Boeing last week described as “completely unacceptable.”

David Calhoun wants to “get rid of the culture of arrogance” at Boeing that led to the messages written by a small number of employees, and ensure staff “hold each other accountable,” the person said.

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, told reporters. This is on Friday he states that he advised Calhoun in a conversation. He states that he needed to “do something to ease the pressure on your organization from Wall Street, which ultimately led to all this.”

Calhoun will be at Boeing’s headquarters in Chicago. Also, at its Washington State facilities this week, the source said, talking with lots of staff.

On Friday, the board approved an annual Calhoun salary of $1.4 million (approximately Rs. 9.9 crores) and a long-term bonus of $26.5 million (approximately Rs. 187.5 crores) if it reaches multiple milestones, including a return to operation of 737 Max.

Reuters reports about Max’s approval. They state that until at least February and potentially March FAA not to approve the service. US airlines canceled Max flights early or later in April.

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