Pontifications: More of the same expected at Boeing’s annual meeting

By Scott Hamilton

April 12, 2021, © Leeham News: Boeing’s annual shareholders’ meeting is April 20.

The entire Board of Directors is up for election. Boeing sets terms for one year. In theory, this prevents entrenchment. In Boeing’s case, Board members historically are reelected year after year after year.

There are several members who were appointed after the 737 MAX crisis. Still, there are major gaps in the Board’s makeup.

No commercial aerospace representation

No member of the Board represents the biggest single source of revenue and profits: commercial aerospace.

Although Boeing CEO David Calhoun at one point was employed by GE and rotated through its aviation division, he’s so far removed from this era that one can argue he’s not truly a commercial aviation resource. He hasn’t been with GE since 2006. Calhoun has been a Boeing director since 2009.

Robert Bradway is chairman and CEO of Amgen, a biotech firm. He’s been a director since 2016.

Arthur Collins is a senior advisor to Oak Hill Capital Partners since 2009. Before that, he was CEO of Medtronic, a medical device company. He’s been a Boeing director since 2007.

Lynne Doughtie was named a Boeing director in 2021, She’s the former CEO of the accounting firm KPMG.

Edmund Giambastiani is president of his own company. He was formerly Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and held various commands in the Navy. He’s trained in nuclear submarines. After the MAX grounding, he was named to a Board committee conducting an internal investigation into the safety of the MAX. He is chair of the Board’s new Aerospace Safety committee. He’s been a director since 2009.

Lynn Good is chairman, president and CEO of Duke Energy Corp. She’s been a director since 2015.

Akhil Johri was named a director in 2020. He’s Operating Advisor to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, a private equity firm. He previously worked for United Technologies (2009-2020), a supplier to Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Boeing Defense. His background at UTC, however, is as CFO through various divisions, not in the supply chain.

Lawrence Keller is chairman of the Board. He’s president of Emerald Creek Group, a private equity firm. He previously was president or chairman of Continental Airlines. He’s been a director since 2011.

Steven Mollenkopf was named to the Board in 2020. He retired as CEO of Qualcomm, a computer, software, and technology company.

John Richardson is another retired US Navy Admiral with nuclear propulsion background. He was named to the Boeing Board in 2019.

Susan Schwab is a professor emerita from the University of Maryland. Her background includes service as the US Trade Representative in the Bush 43 presidency. She’s been a director since 2010.

Ronald Williams is chairman and CEO of RW2 Enterprises, his own consulting strategic management company. He previously spent 25 years in the health insurance industry. He’s been on Board’s Board since 2010.

No engineers in aviation

The Board’s representation is solid in defense, finance, and politics. But remarkably, it continues to lack representation for commercial aviation, unless one counts Kellner. But his background is airlines, not airliner production.

During the MAX crisis, Boeing was roundly criticized for having no engineers on the Board. This isn’t strictly true. In its Proxy statement for the shareholders meeting, Boeing points out that seven of its Board members are engineers. However, none is an engineer in aviation.

As I’ve pointed out previously, Boeing should appoint people of the stature and background of Chesley Sullenberger (pilot and safety advocate) or John Cox (safety investigator). Appointing representatives of the IAM 751 (touch labor/production) or SPEEA (engineers union) to the Board would also be a good idea. This was also a non-starter, given Boeing’s anti-union bias. But the knowledge and expertise would be valuable to a Board that doesn’t have this commercial/production experience.

No illusions

I’m under no illusions that anything to correct these deficiencies will come out of the annual meeting.

Boeing’s Board has been and will remain a “good old boys” club (pardon the sexist cliché here).




140 Comments on “Pontifications: More of the same expected at Boeing’s annual meeting

  1. The lack of professional knowledge and experience of manufacturing and specifically aviation is blatant

    As is the lack of ‘diversity’

    As is the lack of talent – starting with Chariman Cal

    As is the lack of any real political/WS/Administration heavyweights – this is a low level board for what should present itself as a high level company

    At least one, the recent KPMG has a dubious history

    But hey they have ridden the BoD of the flagrantly foolish – NHaley and the aptly named CK, a non combat non starter nepotist throw back to the glory days

    • I have been reading the compensation for board members of other organization.

      Its another source of lucre.

      Why would you want anyone on the board that question giving you a bonus for doing your job?

      Boeing is just another sad example of where this has all gone and where the reform needs to begin.

  2. “The Cal” has now been chairman for 15 months, and what has he achieved in that time?
    – The MAX is ungrounded…sort of. US carriers currently have 60 of them on the ground again as a result of a manufacturing shortcut that led to grounding issues. There’s also an AD relating to replacement of fuel processors. And certain serial numbers have an issue with a stabilizer motor. Moreover, most countries in the world haven’t yet ungrounded — notably China.
    – A few “marquee” MAX sales to “the usual suspects” at such a steep discount as to actually constitute a loss. Meanwhile, the number of whitetails has increased.
    – The 787 has just limped back into delivery mode, after a hiatus that started in October. Are the problems well-and-truly fixed, or just patched up as well as can be expected?
    – The 777X has now been pushed back to 2024-2025. Tim Clark regularly vents his exasperation in the press. The 777-8 lost out in the Project Sunrise race. The order book has shrunk further.
    – The KC-46 is a “lemon-without-end”. No further elaboration required…other than to say that Rob’s much touted “limited ops” actually involve sitting on the taxiway with the engines running, waiting (in vain) for the inerting indicator light to turn a favorable color.
    – The NMA/NSA is still just a load of hot air. The story changes on a weekly basis.
    – Boeing’s finances have deteriorated further. Debt is now $64B, cash is $25B, margins have plummeted.

    Best part: “The Cal” was given remuneration of $21M to reward him for this stellar list of achievements…

    • Man, he got the MAX back into the air (well sort of and more or less). A true wonder boy. Genius in fact.

      Of course I got paid to show up and do my job not a bonus but what the hey.

      • The military seems to do a bit better. F-18 Block III, T-7A, Loyal wingman, F-15EX, P-8 and it seems the KC-46A has passed the hump of problems. So it is mainly Seattle and Charleston having their feather ruffled the last few years. Still it is the company boards responsability that risks are properely evaluated and handled often by using decades of internal research and testing to get firm data vs. the company strategies. The CEO with managers execute and properely have systems to handle all the issues popping up that needs to be solved to meet what is sold to its customers, the more you promised the customers the higher the risks you need to have siezable reserves of money and talent to deliver with a minimum of delay and not too many projects that need the same reserve money and talent at the same time…

        • Claes:

          I don’t buy Seattle and Charleston have their feathers ruffled.

          Its a company wide quality control (or lack of) that has bitten again, again and again.

          Remember when the manager at Charleston fired the Contract Workers during the 787-10 swap over? He had not a clue that they were the glue holding a green workforce together and the whole program went into the toilet again.

          Not having a follow up check to ensure your shims are right and not having a quality check to ensure the fuselage sections are right? That is not ruffled feathers, that is going with corporate cost cut at any price.

          All those military programs are old ones. Upgrades seem to work, but several examples of failure.

          1. F-18: They were going to put conformal fuel tanks on it, found out it would not survive the carrier ops, so that is off the table and there goes a range improvement. That is huge with the range issues involved.

          2. KC-46: The USAF referred to it as a lemon and it was not capable of the missions needed and he was not sure how long it would take.
          Vision for the fuel boom is not fixed yet. It can’t do a big part of the mission set yet.

          3. The T-7A is still in early stages and another year before we have a clue and will it be like the KC-46 that failures are revealed drip drip drip?

          Even the long running AH-64 had a quality control problem over something they have done forever.

          P8 seems to have done well. Part seems to be due to the Navy who just shifted over the P-3 latest suite and then had slow development of the upgrades in the pipeline.

          F-15EX seems to have gone well, but that was also a Foreign contract they piggy backed onto.

          Chinook and V-22 seem to be fine. Long established as well.

          Do they take and axe to those and create chaos? Nothing is beyond them as we all have seen. T

          • TW: in my humble (truly) estimation you’re missing a little bit the big picture: for the Very Few, failure™ pays quite well. Not sure China’s
            noticing, though: they’re doing the stuff guys
            like you and me used to do. We *will* pay,
            all bullsh!t from Blinken-types aside..

            “For everything you do [Uncle Sweetheart] there is a Price; you can pay it up front, at the beginning, or you can pay it at the Back End…”

            From ‘Masked and Anonymous’, 2003.

            Our USian elites sold us out for short-term gains and are now screaming “unfair!!!” about it..

            Hey, where’d our Jobs go? heh! Blame your local oligarch.. you *know* their names.

            So confusing™ and Complex..

          • Mmm – update status of KC-46 boom vision?

            A staggering number of V-22s are in operation, several hundred.
            And 1200 Chinooks, but Boeing bashers herein will sneer at it as a derivative machine.

            Of course some Airbus helicopters are derivatives, but names changed for marketing reasons. (The Puma line, now called EC225/H225 and EC725/H225M. Airbus plan to continue producing the line until 2030, having stopped development of a clean-sheet design.)
            Sikorsky adapted the S-70 Black Hawk design to taller cabin, the S-72 and now the military derivative flow by the Canadian – fatal crashes in both cases.
            It is common to re-use rotor system due to their development cost, but sometimes improve them.
            As with airliners, engines are often upgraded or replaced with new designs – the case with 737s that went through more powerful models of the JT8D series, then switched to the CFM56 and using derivatives of it still.


    • > – The NMA/NSA is still just a load of hot air. The story changes on a weekly basis.

      The point that’s most concerning to me. Boeing needs to show they can *execute*- and in a timely manner- 2031 is not gonna cut it.

      Well, there’s always cost-plus Defense™ contracts, and IBG/YBG

    • > “The Cal” was given remuneration of $21M to reward him for this stellar list of achievements

      Need a better compensation system to account for shortcomings like recent grounding of almost a hundred 737 MAX due to production issue. BA’s top management have to be fully accountable for both achievements and setbacks.

      • If compensation was done right, Calhoun would be paying Boeing not the other way around.

        Mullenberg got a huge buy out and walked way with 25 million or better as I recall.

        Management is not paid for success, they are paid for snoozing the board and sweetheart you pat my back and I pad yours bail out deals for all involved.

        Management has lost at least 25 billion and they want to cut costs?

        Just fire their Management and board and start over.

        Labor at those failure rates is nickle and dime.

        • > Management is not paid for success, they are paid for snoozing the board and sweetheart you pat my back and I pad yours bail out deals for all involved. <

          Remember the band 'Talking Heads'? I don't trust *them either*, since the -IAs have run most everything for a long time; but, from this refrain from 'Remain in Light' keeps running through my head:

          "..same as it ever was…. same as it ever was… same as it ever was…"

          Just a thought, of course. 😉

    • “Moreover, most countries in the world haven’t yet ungrounded — notably China.”

      And how many B737MAX are domiciled in them, except for China.
      Probably none in Lichenstein, Morocco, Haiti, ….

      How many ban overflights?

  3. Airbus position is more balanced :
    The majority of board members have financial, business, legal or political sciences background. Some of them graduated from top european engineering programs, but with the exception of Faury, are not aviation engineers :
    – Faury, of course, from both Polytechnique and Sup’Aero,
    – Clamadieu from Mines Paris,
    – Tavares from Centrale Paris
    – Moraleda from ICAI Madrid
    – and Nemat is a physicist by training.
    Engineers, and aviation engineers in particular, fill up most positions at executive level though.

        • … unlike the other guy who relied on imaginary profits generated by program accounting, gimmicks like Partnering for “success” etc to pull the wool over your eyes.

          BA wasted $43 billion in share buyback, how did it compare with its competitor???

        • They do buy shares each year. These shares are resold to employees via ESOP (Employees Share Ownership Program) at cost with 10%-20% bonus if you keep them in your retirement plan for 5 years.

          • Thank you, is there some kind of reference or link for that? I am interested.

            My mistake if I was wrong.

            And I do not get Boeing shares vs Airbus.

          • As reported in March 2020, BA “has spent over $43 billion buying back stock over the past decade”.

            How much were sold via ESOP??

    • gocek (et al) – “Some … graduated from top european engineering programs, but with the exception of Faury, are not aviation engineers:… Engineers, and aviation engineers in particular, fill up most positions at executive level though.”
      And, it is to be hoped, some aerospace engineers, also.

      • Yes, I meant Aviation AND Aerospace (these are both Sup’Aero focus points, as in NASA)

    • Airplane guys aren’t welcome on the board because they’d stir up too much trouble for the other[s] [edited] that are only there to fill their pockets. After all, imagine how unpleasant/confronting it would be for a room full of airheads if they had to contend with meetings in which difficult, relevant questions were being asked by an aero-engineer? Not at all: a fundamental tenet of any “old boys club” is to keep out possible disruptors who might impede the gravy train.

      • @Bryce, Frank

        And, additionally – if you want to run a company into the ground via a financial bag of tricks, you need complacent un experts in aviation and manufacturing

        Those well used to false and fake accounting and market manipulation may be necessary to nod through the very worst of such

        No serious WS/Administration is going to put their names forward, but are happy to delegate second rate and disposable stand ins

        • Gerrard, tone it down. You are not contributing anything useful to the topic.


          • He is expressing the frustration many if not all of use feel.

            No question corporations are mostly rife with the same issues.

            I was a mechanic/technician . While I do not have an answer, I do know you have to know what the problem is before you can fix it.

            I also know you can’t BS a broken or malfunction piece of equipment into workign right, you have to fix it once you have figured out what the problem is.

            Put it politely is not getting the job done.

            He has expressed in blunt but accurate terms where the issue is.

            The corporate system is corrupted .

            Someone asked where the aviation guys are.

            They have been strong armed out so that it can descend into the current corrupt practices.

            Legally corrupt does not mean its not corrupt.

            As someone said, the corporations were at the table if not writing the laws and regulations that got us here.

            I know you have not ignored the issue, but its also not getting corrected is it?

      • Good description of many collectives, and collaborations like some cliques herein who keep bashing opponents instead of debating rationally.

    • Boeing is not an airplane company. it is a financial engineering company.

      • > Boeing is not an airplane company. it is a financial engineering company. <

        Pithy, and seeming correct from all appearances.

        "We don't need no steenkin' New Airplane!.."

        Meanwhile, the competition quietly smile to themselves..

      • I would go further that its a Pyramid scheme in all but name, legal, but the same end affects.

        Kick the airplanes down the runway, rake out what you can while you can, retire or get fired with tens of millions payout despite failing and the next guy up and his boards hopes he can repeat.

      • I’ve been derided to no end for stating that fact 15..10 years ago. None of the Boeinginista could be bothered.

        • Uwe – remember: as someone or other almost said, a prophet is not without honor except in his own industry…

    • “Where have all the airplane guys gone?”
      Well in that earlier decade they went the car industry.
      Ford of course had Alan Mulally, who had a great career at BCA ‘making planes’ and then went on to ‘save Ford’ ( without the taxpayers help), but he was CEO and not just a passive board member
      GM had a board member at its bankruptcy who was previously a Northrop Grumman executive.
      One of the ( many) reasons that GM went under ( yes it was a once in 50 years crisis) was its use of rebates to keep the production numbers up. Which can be useful when done correctly but their advertising become all about promoting ‘the deal’, not the cars. Boeing is a business to business producer but its become all about the deal now with rebates getting bigger.

      • When I say I changed the culture of Boeing, that was the intent, so it’s run like
        a business rather than a great engineering firm. It is a great engineering firm, but
        people invest in a company because they want to make money.
        Harry Stonecipher, 2004, former CEO of The Boeing Company, reflecting on the late 1990s

        They have changed my attitude to be “why should I care” and to look out for myself as management won’t. Also, Boeing is no longer a premium company to work for. If I can find something—anything—somewhere else, I’m gone.
        They got no loyalty to me, why should I have any to them?
        Technical employee, twenty-three years at Boeing,

        Grunberg, Leon,Moore, Sarah. Emerging from Turbulence:
        Boeing and Stories of the American Workplace Today

        • Has to be both financially successful and selling well-designed products that are right for the market, a financially marginal company cannot afford new products and a company poor at design will not do well financially.

          Many pontificators herein sound like Plato – mind-body dichotomy, which comes from his two-worlds theory – dirty and pure, which denies effectiveness of the human mind for life. A common source of collectivist notions.

          I recommend the book ‘The Essence of Leadership’ by Edwin A Locke et al, which ranks characteristics of chief executives in successful companies: intelligence and integrity top the list, charisma is way down it. (Ed follows Aristotle, who taught that there is one world and humans can understand it.).

  4. Yes, aerospace engineering seems to remain a blind spot on the board. include Cox and/or Sullenberger-type people, but they are more oriented toward aviation operations rather than aerospace, I suspect.

  5. The board should create a more stable benefits for company executives. The 2020 $21m Calhoun income proves the system is rotten.

    Short term stock price mngt, cost reductions, stock buy backs, defense contracts, debt hiding and grandfathering of design are boosting executive bonuses.

    Not operational integrity, long term portfolio health and added value for the US industry and taxpayer. Those are costs to be avoided for the next Quarterly.

    Also on defense, 50-60 year old cash cow designs (F15, Chinook, F18, P-8, Apache) are lobbied in, alternatives squeezed out. US civil helicopter has already vaporized.

    Problem: everybody seems to be in the Pyramid scheme. Paying senior executive fixed high salaries and give bonusses on real long term priorities. Disconnect them from WS, it’s draining the company. Airbus overtook and the Chinese are next. Act.

    • Keesje:

      I agree that its rotten.

      I don’t agree on defense problems other than the normal ones.

      Boeing mostly has provided good products in the defense realm (granted they are old programs)

      I don’t say we don’t try, but defense is a never ending problem. I do know you do not do concurrent production like the F-35 debacle (and that is not Boeing)

      In fact the F-35 was squeezing out everything, that is being re-thunk.

      And note, the Navy has hosed up the so called Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) as well as the new carrier totally (again concurrent produion). The Navy got smart finally and is adapting the FREEHAM Frigate design (we can hope they don’t mess it up) – The better option was the Spanish Frigate as it had more combat capability and pretty much all US system as well as dual turbine power. The point is we can’t even design a Frigate now, the Zumwalt was a worse failure then the LCS and that is going some.

      Europe struggles with all those issue and the Aussie are dumping the Tiger Helicopter as hopeless. While its workign full up now, it took Australia 5 years to get the A330MRT into full capability (and its a lower capability than the KC-46)

      So don’t cross defense issues as a Boeing only or even the worst.

  6. Indeed, more breadth needed.

    The retired USN person should be aware of the USS Thresher disaster. Some good advice on culture in https://www.bsee.gov/sites/bsee.gov/files/technical-presentations/safety/schaffer-navy.pdf.

    But while Sullenberg may be able to contribute, he has come across as a loose cannon recently.

    There’s merit in talking about union representation, to get it thinking business not exploitation, but it should instead be viewed as a supplier of labour in competition to other sources.

    Is Mulally too old? :-o)
    Is Ms. Piasecki available? She seemed to have more sense than many engineers, who are not automatically smart, just as few accountants are smart – I’ve worked with some of each category who are and some who were dense and lazy

    • > But while Sullenberg may be able to contribute, he has come across as a loose cannon recently. <

      If you have an example I'd be interested in hearing it. My impression is he's saying the same safety-oriented things over and over, simply because Boeing's not Getting It. The recent evidence in D. Gates's Seattle Times article is clarifying on that account..

    • The US is different from Europe, it is not always ready to work with Unions for common benefit. Maybe letting EU companies do it in the US in the “right to work ” states working out a good way that works in the US. Both corporations and UAW need to change and learn to find how benefits from good ideas should be shared in a fair way ahead of working intensly together.
      I heard of a US company in the 1980-1990’s that the blue collar workers went on strike approx every 10 years, the company ordered the white collar staff to the shop floor and they immediatly understood what improvement the blue collar workers had been fighting for to no avail so when they had to do the hands on work themselves (including most managers) the improvements were quickly installed and when the strike was over the blue collar workers understood that they needed to strike to get improvement in. Discussions led nowhere.

      • Caterpillar was on strike for 10 years as I recall. White collar office guys building engines.

        I had the dubious delight to work on two of those strike made engines.

        All the side cover bolts were loose and they set the timing wrong.

        Good news was we caught the side covers coming off and the timing was adjustable and we got that fixed.

  7. Denis Muilenberg – engineer. How many times do I have to point this out?

    • @Grubbie

      You are right – being an engineer does not mean you are able better to lead/direct a manufacture

      Although presumably as a engineer you should better be able to shortcut mislead and misdirect other engineers

      Having engineers or those experienced in manufacture etc on the BoD is no guarantee that BA would be managed better, or in a different way, or with more respect for engineering

      However to have none, and to weight the BoD with second raters inclined by virtue of their careers to take more interest in financialisation is a very large and public statement of interest and intent, which may well be perceived as sure sign of lack of interest in engineering

      Which would be supported by all available evidence about BA, most obviously the planes crashing, but also….well you know the rest

      • Grubbie:

        Just being an engineer is not the answer, whats his name was an engineer.

        Mullaly happened to be an engineer and his stint with Ford proved his management chops.

        I will take someone with capability and integrity, Boeing was lead by that type who had the ability to listen and understand the big picture and who to put in charge of what.

        • Food for thought
          William Boeing Sr was an ‘ industrialist’- yale- and in lumber business
          Phil Johnson an Engineer
          Bill Allen was a lawyer
          Frank Shrontz MBA
          T Wilson an Engineer
          Phil Condit Engineer
          Harry Stonecipher Engineer

          First 5 kept pants zipped- some gruff ( Wilson ) but all listened, had reasonable integrity and were approachable

          But until early 90’s- Engineers in manufacturing, tooling, similar were considered 2nd class,pay and grade limited to less than ‘ aerospace type engineers ‘ and Manufacturing run by old Bull of the woods types as VP’s.

          And stocks split when got above about $ 80/share.

          Then came Stonecipher and a host of GE jack welch interns.

          Since then GE down the drain, and Boeing circling

          Wuz there

          • Bubba2’s list: all people who knew how to do things (moving digits on a screen not included).

            I am *so* confyoozed about why Boing-boing -boing is in a death-spiral..

            Somebuddy hep me

            Tomorrow:”Boing licenses C919 technology from China; says All Our Lives to be *immediately* better as result..”

            Am I joking

          • Bubba – you’ll want to look this up soemwhere, but didn’t Bill Boeing leave the group in about 1934 after its somewhat incestuous interests in aircraft manufacturing, engine manufacturing, and commercial services and perhaps more had to be broken up to comply with anti-trust legislation? Funny, that.

          • RE Pundit april 14

            Correct, Bill Boeing SR had put together a major industry- Engines, Airfield, Airlines ( Boeing United Airlines, Ham standard props, etc and when it was broken up in the early 30’s- dont want to argue re date- but can be found, he got sort of peeved and left the company. Also had interesdts in Michigan Iron Ore range – had his yacht named Taconite.

            First chief engineer was Chinese..

            When I worked there I had Bill Allen, T wilson, Frank shrontz, and Phil Condit as CEO

            Bill had a sense of humour re 2707 and a bit peeved re TFX when called before congress to be offered a more fair competiton. Came back and put out a message
            “Any manager or supervisor who said we got screwed ( which was true ) would no longer be a manager or supervisor”

            T wilson feel backwards out of an office chair ( 4 legs-rollers )-and that was the end of 4 legged office chairs with rollers

            Program WILO was named after Wilson Low Observable- actually was B2 program

            Frank Shrontz made efforts to talk to anyone who wanted to meet with him one on one. Most employees were afraid, but not all

            Phil wanted to be like Jack welch . .

    • You raise a good point – Grubbie, but try this (conspiracy theory) on for size:

      Muilenberg was just a mouthpiece for the guy behind the scenes, pulling the strings; Calhoun.

      I’m not a fan of either, but seems to me that the guy calling the shots all along was not the CEO. He got his marching orders and was a deer in the headlights when things went sideways. He was paid to take the fall and look like an idiot so that Calhoun could walk in, looking like the savior.

      (…and no, the earth is not flat, Apollo 11 did really land on the moon – along with 12, 14, 15, 16 & 17 and there is no Deep State; just lots of people with their hands out)

      • @Frank: To hear Calhoun tell it (Jan. 13, 2020), he was just an observer in the front row of the theatre watching the movie. Later (NYT interview), it was like he barely heard of Muilenburg.

        • @Scott

          Meanwhile in the records that have been released so far IIRC, when things started to go south, the person Muilenberg met with was….Calhoun. And him alone.

          • Yea Calhoun took the lucre and then hid his head in the sand.

            Or was that the same Calhoun that voted to make Mullenburg CEO and COB? Maybe it was a stunt double?

            Smells worse than a fish harbor.

      • ” seems to me that the guy calling the shots all along was not the CEO.”
        That forgets one thing, he wasnt just CEO, he was President of Boeing AND Chairman of the Board as well.
        He ran the company in every way when you hold those 3 jobs

        • @Duke

          So he was Chairman, President & CEO and was ousted that easily from all three positions, for a decision that was made in 2011, long before he was even on the radar;

          *On August 30, 2011, Boeing’s board of directors approved the launch of the re-engined 737, expecting a 4% lower fuel burn than the Airbus A320neo.[20]*

          If you read the official press release, Muilenberg isn’t even mentioned.

          I’m also sure it was Dennis who single handedly came up with the whole defensive strategy to deny anything was wrong with the Max, then blame the pilots/airlines, meanwhile sending boatloads of cash into share buybacks & dividends since 2013.

          So much of the mess over at BA was created long before he got into the top spot; 787 was launched in 2004, 777X program was greenlit in 2013, 737 Max in 2011. Partnering For Success was a 2012 program.

          No – I’m not a Muilenberg fan boy. He was just the front man who was put out there to take the heat and finally be the (well paid) scapegoat to ride off into the sunset.

          • Frank’s comment here fits the facts as I see them.

            Tractor-man was a frontman and barely rose to the level of fall-guy.

          • Who made him Chairman of the Board?

            Yep, the board.

            Why do corporation structures have TWO separate categories and are supposed to be TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE???????????????

            Its a total crock (LIE) to say, we did not know what was going on when in fact they set it up so they could pretend they did not.

            When I was growing up, getting drunk was an excuse to then kill and maim people. I remember the horror of my brother taking me home from a wrestling tournament and 3 or our high school cheerleader were killed by a drunk driver.

            The cam Mothers Against Drunk Driving, it took them years but that excuse is no longer allowed. You take that drink and you are responsible for the results.

            Calhoun is responsible for the results and he can lie all he wants.

            So the list is.
            1. CEO and COB separate is written into law.
            2. NO Shares to anyone for salary
            3. No share buy back.

            4. Salary cannot exceed 5 times the highest paid worker.

            Probably a bunch more I am forgetting.

          • @Frank

            100% agreed – fall guy! no pun intended!

            Will Cal get the waiver from the retirement age limit

            Has the board any notion of who could or would want to take over from him

            But – maybe Cal has the notion he’s had a good run, bags of dough, and now’s the time to bow out before the planes start falling out the sky once again

          • @Trans

            How very socialist of you, sir!

            But I agree – you even look at someone like Costco which limits the exec comp at 7 times the lowest paid worker. Seems to work well for them and I have never come across a Costco employee that bashes the company… Delta also seems to take good care of it’s people.

            So there are ways to do this and stay successful. It’s the greed that gets in the way.

          • The launch of the 737 was done in 2011, but he became President, the second ranking executive, in 2013. Next step was CEO in July 2015. Surely stepping in that job means he finds out where all the existing programs are in development so that nothing inherited blows up under his watch
            Of course if he had taken the right leadership decisions after the crash the path Boeing took could have been somewhat different.

          • @Duke

            So he was made CEO in 2015, four years after work had started on the Max.

            Four years. So they just move you into the top slot in June of 2015 and the Max was certified in Mar 2017 – he should have done what?

            The whole reason they put him in there was not to stop the program for 2 years while he sorted the mess. They put him in there to get the aircraft certified and get the cash rolling. That was his mandate.

          • When you take the position you take the responsibility and accountability (or that is how its supposed to work)

            The Ever Given captain is responsible for the ship out of control.

            What was the Boeing Board doing?

            Yep, making the CEO and the Chairman of the Board the same person (Mullenberg) – he cold have looked them in the eye and said no.

            Calhoun can try to duck (quack quack) all he wants.

            He was there on the board and he voted to combine positions and did not do his job.

            He can throw Mullenberg under the bus (no sympathy ) but he is equally to blame and maybe more so.

            And who walked away with (25 million?)

          • @Trans

            When you take the position you take the responsibility and accountability (or that is how its supposed to work)

            I think if Muilenberg took the position and then put the brakes on the 737 Max to fix it – he’s out the door quicker then you can say “NTSB crash investigation”. And not just out of the CEO position, but out of the company.

            Not that you aren’t right. But in today’s ‘get mine’ world, that is a very idealistic point of view. Too bad more people don’t think that way…

          • Frank:

            Main reason I walked in one day and quit.

            I got back stabbed for something my partner and I had nothign to do with. Hung, tried and convicted.

            But I kept doing the right things up to the end.

            And I did not get paid the big bucks.

            His job was to do the job right the same as Calhoun and they both failed pathetically (and lethally)

            If no one does their job, or they take their job to cut costs at any price you see what happens.

            I worked around systems that could kill people and I never quit until they were right.

          • “So he was made CEO in 2015, four years after work had started on the Max.”
            He was President for a few years before that, clearly inline for the CEO job next as well.
            I dont know the division of repsonsibiltiteis at Boeing were , but for other companies that keep the President job separate from CEO , President is really the VP with the biggest oversight of other divisions.
            Im guessing since Muilenberg was VP for the Defense division previously , when he became President for 18 months he had oversight of The Commercial Aircraft division to give him the background for moving to the CEO of the whole company.
            Thats the only thing that makes sense.

            There really isnt anything online about his duties as President back in 2013 , but I hate to think it was Muilenberg as President and oversight of BCA when things for the 737 really went off the rails- by development process ‘exceeding all its expectations’
            Needs more research on those critical 18 months

          • Looked up Boeings announcement of Muilenberg getting promoted to President, ( and a Vice Chairman of Board) didnt involve any special responsibility for BCA, just he was to ‘assist the CEO. Indeed the same time O’Connor who was VP and CEO of BCA was made a Vice Chairman as well, which is really a non job and I guess he missed out while Muilenberg was moving up soon.

    • “Denis Muilenberg – engineer”
      But he came from the defence side of the business, not airliners and it had a captive customer, and the X32 he was chief engineer on was way way behind the F35 . Even during the ‘flyoff’ stage just before selection they made significant changes to the airframe as by then McDonnell expertise was available from the merger.

    • > Denis Muilenberg – engineer. How many times do I have to point this out? <

      Clearly, clearly! a firm causal chain..


    • You are intellectually dishonest here, commenter ‘Grubbie’, and not for the first time:

      Since a [nominal] engineer was once at the [nominal]
      head of Boeing, engineeering expertise in that position
      would be *clearly* useless..

      Don’t like your act, dude.

  8. Boeing has been a bean counting company for far too many years. All I read is this problem and that problem are costing millions. Yes, designing and assembling aircraft is complicated and difficult but if your only apparent worry is $$ then you will continue to fail. I want this company to return to its roots… innovation and great engineering. WHEN WILL SEE THE LIGHT BOEING??
    Don’t continue to insult those who preceded you and created what used to be an unequalled reputation.

    • Its not the bean counting that is the problem.

      Its the corruption of what a Corporation is supposed to do, be and does, legal or not.

    • >I want this company to return to its roots… innovation and great engineering. WHEN WILL SEE THE LIGHT BOEING?? <

      Indeed. Maybe Boeing's financialization and feather-bedding has
      made them *structurally* boxed in.

        • @Trans

          That would cost too much, cut into the bottom line and shrink exec compensation.

          • Frank:

            I figure I could live like a King on 1 million bucks.

            How much do you need?

            You are likely right there is not going to change but that is not what was intended with corporations.

            Until it does we get the MAX and fortunate its not 787 crashes.

          • @Trans

            I’m a simple guy – drive a ten year old SUV that I use to haul around stuff for renovations and take my doggo to the dog park with.

            A million would be nice – buy another fixer/upper, renovate it and rent it out. Maybe take a little trip to Australia/New Zealand.

            I would definitely hire someone to take care of the lawn. I’m so over weeding and cutting the grass. It would also be a nice hobby to rent a little industrial space and move all my tools in and get some woodworking equipment – nice lathe and big table saw, that kind of stuff.

            I’d like to try my hand at epoxy resin tables.

            I could have stayed in the ratrace and worked my way up the ladder, but I got out with my soul intact. I sleep better since I did.

    • Reuters Paris bureau has some good stories on aviation, mostly Airbus sources. But some good insights into what would normally be routine changing of names on offices.
      “Previously, engineering functions had been split between two positions on the top management committee, leading to what several sources had described as turf battles over resources.”

    • Scott and Bjorn may be able to tell us more about what’s happening in Toulouse and Getafe and the impact on the FCAS and ZEROe projects. It looks like a significant move for Airbus.

    • Tangentially related to the Airbus executive re-shuffle?

      Reuters: “Dassault confirms fighter deal with Airbus, urges Berlin support”

      “(Dassault) Chief Executive Eric Trappier said he had been surprised to learn that Airbus Defence & Space CEO Dirk Hoke was leaving the European group, and praised his record in reaching an agreement following months of “difficult discussions” over FCAS.”


    • Interesting, maybe good for another Pontification.

      What I see shining through is the new Euro 6th Gen fighter fights. Germans were ok to have the French (Dassault) take the lead, because the Rafale program looks better than the Eurofighter, which has suffered from to many interest groups pushing and pulling for decades.

      But you have to be careful with the French, they over time always try to take control, using political friends, “rationalizing”, promising, using “Europe”. The Germans know from other projects, you need to make sure you’re not only paying the bills.

      Failing to come up with a convincing MPA, A400M exports, Aussie Tiger might also not help current executives.

      • I am compelled to point out that your are talkign about the Germans who had (or maybe still do) 6 out of 6 subs out of commision.

        Fewer than 100 combat capaile Leopra tands.

        Less than 30 combat capaible Typeoons/

        All because they take the money and build the stuff and don’t buy spare parts

        One of the 6 subs was a parts supplier for the entire program. So you built 6 to house all the spare parts.

        Unfortunately there is only one of each system and you hope you don not have the same part fail or you have, well, 6 non working subs.

  9. BA BoD Update

    Will CC stay on ?

    “Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis recommends shareholders vote against the re-election of Boeing (BA -1.9%) Chairman Larry Kellner and veteran director Edmund Giambastiani, who leads the board’s safety panel, at the company’s annual meeting on April 20.

    “We believe they are in part responsible for the board’s failings in regard to its risk assessment and management,” playing a role in the two fatal crashes of 737 MAX aircraft and the plane’s nearly two-year grounding, Glass Lewis says.

    Boeing has suffered substantial material loss and reputational damage since the crashes, and despite management changes and the company’s renewed commitment to engineering and safety, the audit committee should be held accountable for failing to mitigate risk, the advisor says.

    Rival advisory firm ISS thinks Boeing’s board deserves re-election, offering credit for “significant board and management changes and reforms to the company’s safety and compliance processes.”

    Also, Boeing’s board reportedly will consider in the coming months whether to extend CEO David Calhoun’s tenure beyond a mandatory retirement age of 65 next year.

    Boeing’s board oversight is the subject of a shareholder lawsuit in Delaware that claims directors failed to oversee management’s handling of the 737 MAX’s development and subsequent crashes.”



    • “Rival advisory firm ISS thinks Boeing’s board deserves re-election, offering credit for “significant board and management changes and reforms to the company’s safety and compliance processes.””

      What are these people smoking?

      The MAX had three publicized issues last week, and one the week before. At least two were related to manufacturing shortcomings. One precipitated an AD. Another — involving an unbelievable lack of basic electrical engineering knowledge — led to temporary grounding of 60 planes at US carriers.

      The FAA refused to allow BA to self-vet the first four Dreamliners coming off the line after months of repairs.

      Is that “compliance”?

      • @Bryce

        I thought I’d introduce a little of that Corporate PR doubletalk through the backdoor

        A timely reminder that in certain areas, and they may probably be quite significant areas, the PR version of reality is only version

        Look at the BoD for proof – do you think any of these people is worried? Expresses any least reservation about Max 787 flying duck?

        About selling off the land and offices about firing most workers about anything at all?

  10. -True Story- BUT WHAT has really Changed ??
    The following is a true story – humorous- and satirical
    Happened in the year 2000 and a few years following

    And I was the perp.
    I did contact the editor of the sitenow known as Satirewire – and he simply asked to be credited properly. His original story was about AT&T

    Way back in the year 2000- I found a great piece of satire re IBM on the Yahoo stock board.
    What I didn’t know then was that it had been modified from another site
    ( Now called Satirewire ) about AT&T

    So I changed a few names to real execs at Boeing- and
    posted it on the Yahoo BA stock board blog.
    Boeing got so many emails saying is this REAL ? that the corporate office had a person using her real name and Boeing address on Yahoo stock board to explain that ONLY Boeing had official employment numbers !

    It gets better- a few years later, I made a shareholder proposal for the Annual meeting and as was the process, my wife and I were treated quite well with reserved seats at the meeting. We were assigned a courtesy employee mainly to keep me away from the Press. It turned out she was the person who had posted at the direction of the CEO! She was still chuckling !!

    What follows is real-with a my name and some address redactions.

    —–Original Message—–
    From: “Koehler, Thomas J” <tho … To: "'xyzabc'"
    Subject: RE: A little humour Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 11:22:18 -0800
    XYZ :
    This is just a note to let you know your message to Harry Stonecipher has
    been received.
    For what it's worth, you've re-confirmed for me that just about anyone can
    pass along misinformation or sorry attempts at humor in the internet age!
    Tom Koehler Executive Communication Company Offices
    – – – – – – – – – –
    Mon, May 29, 2000 1
    Sent: Wednesday, January 05, 2000 2:33 PM
    To: philip.m.condit …..
    Cc: james.b.dagnon—— jerry.l.calhoun;
    Subject: A little humour
    I found this on the IBM message board written initially about Mr
    Armstrong of AT&T. I couldn't resist changing a few words as shown
    below, and posting it on Yahoo. As it turns out, I have
    received several queries as to " is this for real ? ". Same thing happened
    on the IBM yahoo pension board. This does NOT bode well for how
    employees and others view the company or its executives.

    Boeing will reduce its workforce by an unprecedented 120 percent by the
    end of 2000, believed to be the first time a major corporation has laid off
    more employees than it actually has. Boeing stock soared more than
    1 point on the initial news release. The reduction decision, announced
    Wednesday, came after a year-long internal review of cost-cutting
    procedures, said Boeing Chairman Harry Stonecipher.

    The initial report concluded the company would save $1.2 billion by
    eliminating 20 percent of its 140,000 employees.

    Employee Reduction Plan
    From there, said Stonecipher , "it didn't take a genius to figure out that
    if we cut 40 percent of our workforce, we'd save $2.4 billion, and if we cut
    100 percent of our workforce, we'd save $6 billion. But then we thought,
    why stop there? Let's cut another 20 percent and save $7billion.
    "We believe in increasing shareholder value, and we believe that by
    decreasing expenditures, we enhance our competitive cost position and
    our bottom line," he added.
    Boeing plans to achieve the 100 percent internal reduction through layoffs, attrition and early retirement packages.

    To achieve the 20 percent in external reductions, the company plans to
    involuntarily downsize 22,000 non-Boeing employees who presently work
    for other companies.

    "We pretty much picked them out of a hat," said Stonecipher Among firms
    Boeing has picked as "External Reduction Targets," or ERTs, are;
    Northrup Grumman, AMR Corporation, parent of American Airlines, Rolls
    Royce, and Perkins Coie.

    Boeing's plan presents a "win-win" for the
    company and ERTs, said Stonecipher, as any savings by ERTs would be
    passed on to Boeing, while the ERTs themselves would benefit by the
    increase in stock price that usually accompanied personnel cutback
    announcements. "We're also hoping that since, over the years, we've
    been really helpful to a lot of companies, they'll do this for us kind of as a
    favor," said Stonecipher.

    Legally, pink slips sent out by Boeing would have no standing at ERTs
    unless those companies agreed. While executives at ERTs declined to
    comment, employees at those companies said they were
    not inclined to cooperate.

    "This is ridiculous. I don't work for Boeing. They can't fire me," said Kaili
    Blackburn, a flight attendant with American Airlines.
    Reactions like that, replied Stonecipher, "are not very supporting."
    Inspiration for Boeing's plan came from previous cutback initiatives, said
    company officials. In January of 1999, for instance, the company
    announced it would trim 40,000 jobs over two years.
    However, just a year later, Boeing said it had already reached its quota.
    "We were quite surprised at the number of employees willing to leave
    Boeing in such a hurry, and we decided to build on that," Stonecipher
    Analysts credited Stonecipher's short-term vision, noting that the
    announcement had the desired effect of immediately increasing Boeing
    share value. However, the long-term ramifications could
    be detrimental, said Bear Stearns analyst Beldon McInty. "It's a little early
    to tell, but by eliminating all its employees, Boeing may jeopardize its
    market position and could, at least theoretically, cease to exist," said

    Stonecipher, however, urged patience: "To my knowledge, this hasn't
    been done before, so let's just wait and see what happens."

    END END – So what has changed ??

    • Great Stuff, Bubba2! Too bad it’s all too accurate.

      My new acronym is EFU: Elites Fail Upwards

      Making late-stage USSR look good, our Fine Corporations are..

      • Phew, now that is spot on.

        I should not be laughing but its SO TRUE!

      • Bill7 – are you familiar with what I think is known as the Peter Principle (for its first observer): ‘Every manager rises to reach his level of incompetence’? The idea being that if they were good at their job they’d be promoted; ergo, the world, by definition therefore, is managed by incompetent office-holders…

  11. The major shareholders, the family, the pension funds, the Mutual Funds that have big positions have to get involved – soon. If they don’t and a big kahuna does not step in like a Warren Buffet, then the Hedge Fund guys and the Raiders are going to materialize and we’ll see proxy wars and the like. It won’t be pretty. These MBAs, these engineers-in-name-only, they don’t have a clue. This is a competition, and the 737Max-10 ain’t in it.

  12. Nobody on Airbus’ board was of aerospace engineering background under Tom Enders. Prior CEO to Faury. And he did a pretty good job…

    Also two of those long term members are not up for re election this year.

    AND I do not think they will be replaced. Board number will be reduced

    • Patients on life support need treatment from specialists; healthy patients don’t.
      Boeing is on life support; Airbus isn’t, and it also wasn’t under Enders.

      • Bryce:

        I honestly do not know where Boeing is. Clearly the ship is holed and taking on water.

        Its an enormous beast and to keep kicking the taxes down the runway they need a new aircraft program.

        Entire civilizations take 100s of years to sink.

        Or is it the Ever Given and they can pull it off the side of the canal (granted the Egyptian have now seized it for damages!)

        Stunning the head of BCA is a Gypsy now.

        In many ways its the Hydra you can’t kill but desperately needs fixed.

      • You’re right. But the idea still does not hold. What you need is proper leaders who will empower the right people within the company. That does not mean you have to be an engineer. The case in point was Airbus. Under Enders they launched 320NEO and set up the XLR, they grew 350 market share. He has no idea the inner workings of those jets because he doesn’t have the technical know how but he empowered those that did

        • I worked with a guy who had the most amazing ability to get people to think differently (me included)

          Its not that he had the right ideas, but the way he asked question got you to thinking on a different track and it wold be, hmmm, if we went about it this way and did that I think we might fix it.

          Now as a tech outside his field he was scary, he took an air chuck and pressurized gear boxes to get the oil to flow out of a gear reducer (those seals are not remotely intended for ANY pressure). You did what?

          But as a manager he got people to thinking along different tracks.

          And you could not put your finger on how he did it, but he had that ability.

          So I get it, you don’t have to be an engineer, its some ability with people and encouraging thinking vs rote.

          An engineer that has that ability can be better still maybe, But Bill Allen was not an engineer and he managed Boeing to huge success.

  13. It seems to me that if Boeing were going to try to compete
    with Airbus their nominally-competitive new aircraft would’ve appeared some time ago..

    “We’ll get ’em in 2042!” IBG / YBG

  14. Interesting piece on Reuters regarding 737MAX orders/cancellations for March:

    “The plane manufacturer said it booked March gross orders of 196 aircraft, all of them for its 737 family of jets. Net of cancellations and conversions, Boeing had 40 jet orders for its 737 planes last month.”

    That implies 156 cancellations/conversions of the MAX for March alone!
    This can’t be accounted for purely by Norwegian, which only had 92 MAXs on order. We know for sure that 26 cancellations came from a lessor in China.
    Adding this to the total of 32 for February, we arrive at 188 cancellations just in Feb and Mar — which essentially negates the combined firm orders from Southwest and Ryanair.


    • Note: the Reuters article was apparently expanded after I posted it. It now contains much more detail on cancellations.

      • No question Boeing took a hit.

        Norwegian also canceled A320 orders over a period of time and has none left as they went belly up.

        Norwegian went nuts and was a failure in the making and that was long standing.

        I think its disingenuous o keep harping on Norwegian when they were a train wreck in the making and it was long predicted they would founder.

        That was before Covd or the MAX debacle though both (as well as the RR and 787 engine failures) killed them off quicker.

        And yes for all the yipeee on orders its working at net neutral with all the cancellations as well as deferrals and re-negotiation at better prices and or the compensation work out.

        Like the 787, Boeing will never recover true lost costs.

        As with the 777, how it plays out is truly unknown.

        Leeham has stated Boeing needs to clean the decks but that has not happened.

        Like many things, the Train Wreck is cleared, repeated but it keep limping along.

  15. From Reuters

    Cancellations of B737 MAX in March 2021:

    Turkish Airlines canceled 10 737 MAX airplane orders and converted 40 737 MAX jet orders to options.

    China’s CDB Financial scrapped 16 737 MAX orders last month and China Aircraft Leasing canceled 26 737 MAX orders.

    Turkish Airlines canceled 10 737 MAX airplane orders in March and converted 40 737 MAX jet orders to options.

    Alaska Air and United Airlines respectively recontracted nine and 25 737 MAX orders last month for earlier delivery positions. (Interesting that orders from UAL was announced in Feb, but cancellation was announced the following month i.e. March??)

    Nineteen 737 MAX orders were canceled by unidentified customers in March.

    • How about airlines from China?? I haven’t seen any of them renegotiate orders/delivery timetable with BA, yet.

    • The UA pivot can be explained in terms of cancelling a more expensive older order (without penalty) and replacing it by a cheaper new order, e.g. whitetails.

    • Some here say that it’s beyond the capability of the Chinese people to manufacture an acceptable Commercial Passenger
      Aircraft.. an interesting notion.

      We’ll see.

  16. Boeing should change the location of the board meeting to the shop floor in Renton so the board members can see how a commercial aircraft is made

    • Sadly the upper management simply does not care.

      Maybe the best how out of touch is they are selling Boeing Commercial Aircraft Offices bldg and the President of that division will drift from office to office like some kind of tumbleweed.

      Stupid comment was he will grab an office and plant the flag like its some kind of kids game.

      And the staff? Scattered all over the place I guess (article did not discuss the staff).

      Now staff can get to be top heavy, but you need staff and support to run an operation.

      Somewhere between incredulous, appalled and can’t believe it.

      And as someone said, could they even engineer a new aircraft if they wanted to?

      At some point you gut things so complete it no long can function.

      We all have read of the examples of failure to have quality control and in some cases, not even checking the work to see if it does meet specs.

      • His office would likely be a 737 BBJ anyway
        A lot of office space is available at Everett thats why they are moving a lot of functions there

        • Duke:

          That is not what the article said. Its said he would move from place to place and Plant the Flag in Whatever Office He Could Grab.

          That is pretty close to if not a direct quote.

          That is no different that 140% Work Force Reduction, except its real.

          The old saying that Amateurish Study tactics and professionals study logistics is a gold standard.

          An organization runs on continuity, staff, links and direct face contact.

          The issue is he has NO office, not that his office and the organization moved into no longer used offices. Many times you need that face to face and the full suite of resources to get moving on an issue.

          We kept our nuts and bolts in our shop so we could grab them and go.

          We did not have to make 10 phone calls to find out where they were currently being stashed and they did not move around.

          Another cost savings that bites Boeing in the rear end big time.

          • TW – “The old saying that Amateurish Study tactics and professionals study logistics is a gold standard. ..” In that school of management theory, who looks after strategy?

          • I dont think you understand how top executives work anymore. Hes likely to be spending a large part of his time away from Seattle – thats why I mentioned the 737BBJ , and takes his executive assistants with him. With modern communications you dont need to be ‘near the filing cabinets’, and since BCA is selling to other airline businesses hes going to them.
            The quaint ideas you have about ‘executive row’ with large offices to show your status, and a queue of supplicants waiting in an anteroom belong back in the 60s

      • @TW:

        Going forward, you have to work from home. Imagine how much BA is going to save: electricity, water, stationary, toilet paper, yes, toilet paper. It’s genius business move that Stonecipher should have implemented, imagine all those cash saved available for shares buyback!

        “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know where this is going,” said one of the employees. “We’ve cleared out. It’s a recognition that the future will bring a combination of virtual work and hoteling.”


        • Pedro:

          What I can tell you is that a technical endeavor (which I spent 35 years working on and in) needs in person face to face.

          Boeing built the expansion at Everett with all the engineers allocated space in side offices to the assembly line so that they could go down to the floor, walk over and see the issue in person.

          That does not mean other methods of communication are not valid, but nothign replaces seeing it for yourself in 3D.

          People are not wind up toys, the best work is done with interaction in person.

          We see the results of scattering Boeing all over hells half acre.

          It will only get worse.

    • They don’t want to know: it’s all IBG/YBG now at mcBoeing.
      See: board membership, and dissipating the Carcass..

      Exceptional Nation

  17. I am missing so much our gaslighting, vaguely-for-now Authoritarian friend from Boeing..

    What was that apparently well-paid dude’s name?

    Movie rec: ‘Barfly’; screenplay by H Bukowski.
    It’ll all make sense, then..

  18. It’s all IBG/YBG now at mcBoeing, TW; I think you know that.

    Too bad about those pesky, conscientious, PITA employees and suppliers who do the real work of actually making an aircraft.

    I *mcLove* corporo-Fascism.. making the Very Few much, much richer is the only Worthy Goal for Us..

    • Of particular relevance are the following quotes:

      “Wide-body aircraft demand remains extremely weak, due to international travel restrictions and a slew of airline bankruptcies over the past year. Meanwhile, the 737 MAX backlog has shrunk to a level that probably can’t support production at previously planned rates.

      Moreover, it’s not clear where Boeing could turn for additional 737 MAX orders. It has already tapped most of its biggest, most loyal, and most financially stable customers for 737 MAX orders over the past few months. That could cause the backlog to start shrinking again if weaker customers continue canceling orders.

      In short, Boeing’s commercial jet business is likely to be significantly smaller and less profitable going forward than it was a few years ago. Given that commercial jets were Boeing’s biggest cash cow prior to the 737 MAX grounding, this subpar outlook makes Boeing an unattractive stock.”

      I imagine that Boeing is desperately trying to get British Airways to firm up its MOU. Fat chance of that…or, best case scenario, more zero-to-negative-margin prices will have to be offered.

      The MAX is somewhat like the AZ vaccine: nobody wants it anymore.

      • Bryce:

        I believe the MAX backlog is 3,200 or so.

        That makes your statement wildly inaccurate.

        I believe Boeing is split about 50/50 on cash generation (or was) between defense and commercial.

        I think the only accurate statement that can be made is we have not a clue what Boeing is going to wind up as.

        It takes along time for something as big to fall, if it falls.

        Right now BCA is clearly foundering. The defense side is doing well (KC-46 aside).

        In fact, now that the F-35 (Lockheed by the way) is sinking in and is sinking the USAF, Boeing is doing nicely selling more F-18 and F-15 due to the fleet gaps. Nothing yet to replace the F-35 let alone the F-18 and F-15 (actually the F-15EX is one of the worlds most capable fighters)

        And you ignore the Chinook and V-22, both doing well.

        Someday they will even resolve the KC-46!

        Stay tuned on the T-7A (and its going to morph into a light attack)

        P-8A is selling like hotcakes.

        How they do on the UAV Carrier refueler, but they did get that contract as well.

        So its a mix of legacy and newer.

        At some point in BCA I think they are going to realize we can’t go on like this, but equally I could be surprised.

        Has to be some serious tension between defense and BCA side.

        The one model for both sides is in the T-7A and we are not going to know how its doing for 3 years (we have to get through that its wonderful to the USAF admitting the KC-46 is a lemon right now)

        Its possible that Boeing winds down BCA but I don’t think so (ie see if so called -5 that is an re-badged NMA comes out which I think is a hoot Calhoun changing the title and still the same program).

        • @TW: From LNA Aug 2019: “the Commercial Airplanes division has generated the bulk of cash flow growth in recent years for the company”; 737 is (sorry) was a major cash cow because it’s a mature product.

          Backlog is barely 3,200 before deducting the around 350 737 MAX waiting to be delivered, my guess is around 2,850 to be produced. Airlines like WN has restructured and stretched out its delivery timetable significantly.

          Major test is if BA has any chance to meet its projection of delivering around 550 737 MAX in 2022.

          • @ Pedro
            PLUS: At the current rate of cancellation, the present backlog would be halved within a year (by cancellation alone).
            PLUS: As the MF article above discusses, who’s the next new customer? Boeing has recently managed to make some marquee sales (at a loss) to the obvious candidates, after which the soup is now a lot thinner.
            PLUS: Just because an airline goes ahead with an earlier order doesn’t mean that it *wants* the order. Ethopian has publicly stated that it would prefer never to fly a MAX again, but can’t afford the financial burden (e.g. recruiting/re-training pilots) of switching to another plane at this juncture.
            PLUS: China won’t be certifying any time soon — its lessors are already cancelling frames, and there’ll probably be more to come, including in China’s closest neighbors.
            PLUS: The MAX-10 is delayed…if it ever comes at all.

  19. Everybody: Clean up your tones. This is not a forum to hurl insults at each other or at Boeing.

    Knock it off or I will close comments.


  20. AW: Will Boeing become the next McDonnell Douglas?

    Feb 2021

    “Douglas Aircraft started down a 30-year path toward extinction when it merged with McDonnell in 1967. McDonnell management prioritized military programs and was not willing to make the investment necessary to maintain its commercial jetliner market position. By the time it merged with Boeing, Douglas’ jetliner products were on their last legs.

    It has been nearly 25 years since Boeing and McDonnell Douglas merged. Given Boeing’s significant engineering cuts, program execution problems, clear prioritization of shareholder returns, extremely uncertain product development road map and deteriorating market share outlook, it is time to consider whether Boeing Commercial Aircraft (BCA) is destined to share Douglas’ fate. Three criteria are key. […]”

    • Pedro:

      Yes the commercial side is gone but the defense side lives on.

      Hotel California? (that is a double pun with ref to where Douglas and MD were headquartered and produced commercial)

    • Dont let the facts get in the way of your sand castle.
      Douglas was a mess when it merged with McDonnell. Much the same later when MDD merged with Boeing which was a production mess- remember they had to have a full month or so production halt so they could fix the immediate issues, the rest needed work over time.
      Sometimes it seems that ‘sales success’ goes to the head of companies like Boeing ( and Douglas before them). The sales people make promises the design and development cant meet and then the production people cut corners as well.

      • Oct 1997 Baltimore Sun
        Boeing to halt 737 and 747 production for 3 weeks

        Swamped by orders, it has shortages of parts and labor

        New York Times
        Boeing announced a $1.6 billion pretax charge announced on Wednesday to cover production problems on Boeing’s 747 and 737 jets

        L.A. Times
        Boeing posts largest loss ever

        April 1998 WSJ
        Fearing a Loss of Its Market Share, Boeing Took Orders It Couldn’t Fill

        • A bit more of history- In 1995- Boeing decided to cutlabor costs by enticing the older higher paid to leave. Planed on about 3000 or so would take the extra goodies such as 5 years added to credited service, 5 years added to age ( those who were 55 could claim 60 to get 100 percent pension ). Announced in march- had to be gone by july 1, except for a few ( necessary supervisors and managers who could delay ). Worked well- almost 9000 bailed.
          At the same time, decided to implement DCAC MRM ( computerized configuration and resoLUrce management ) Those who jumped could NOT come back per agreement. ( By 1997 things were a mess- and many who jumped hired in as contractors to help out( arranged via backdoor help from Boeing ! )

          Thus the 777 was the last real Boeing plane – started under senior manager Condit who then got promoted several levels above his peter principle level- but mostly run by Al Mulally.

          And the rest is history-

          As to the Special retirement Program – it worked ! I wuz one

  21. The New York Times

    Boeing’s 737 Max Is a Saga of Capitalism Gone Awry

    Nov. 24, 2020

  22. I am still going through this and need to see Seattle times as well. New entity to me, the writing is good so far.


    What I can say is bolts vastly are superior to Rivets for conducting and making good grounds. I have never seen a rivet used for ground (granted I am not an aircrat mechanic or technician ).

    Seattle times does not clear any of it up.

    Its got to be an easy fix, but its nuts (pun not intended but not avoided) to have occur. Grounds, testing and making solid are a major part of fundamental electrical world no matte who or where.

    While a miner change (per Seattle times) it involved critial electric systems. Why that is allowed I can’t fathom and maybe one more thing the FAA changes.

    Trim motor issues though that is the supplier and why would they start to make bad ones ? (supplier Eaton in Ireland reported)

  23. I point out that some engineers and pilots change their stripes when promoted into management, I have direct experience with some.

    (They fail the criteria of the book The Essence of Leadership.)

    I know that some Boeing engineering managers are devious people, I believe their is cost and weight in airplane designs because one manager could not trust another to keep a feature in the design that helped the first manager’s system work well.

    Some pontificators in this forum are intrincicists, believing in innate characteristics not individuals.

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