Update: Calhoun to retire, Deal out, Pope in, Kellner leaving, Mollenkopf new chair at Boeing

By Scott Hamilton


David Calhoun

March 25, 2024, © Leeham News: The changes at The Boeing Co. and at Boeing Commercial Airplanes today speak to the depth of the crisis at the company following Jan. 5’s accident on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282. But it also speaks to the thin bench for executive ranks at the corporate and division levels.

President and CEO David Calhoun will step down at the end of the year. No successor was named. Board chairman Larry Kellner will not stand for reelection at the annual shareholders meeting. Board Member Steve Mollenkopf was named non-executive chairman. Stan Deal, the CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, is out, effective today. Stephanie Pope, who was named EVP and COO of The Boeing Co. in December, takes over from Deal as CEO of Commercial Airplanes.

Pope’s move drew immediate rebuke from a Wall Street executive. Pope “has absolutely no qualifications to hold the job of head of BCA,” the executive wrote LNA in an email. Pope’s another MBA finance executive without production or product development experience. Her job before being named COO was CEO of Boeing Global Services. She followed Deal, who left BGS to become CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Related Article

Boards are invested in the CEOs until they’re not

Boeing’s thin bench was outlined in the related article above. The leading personalities are detailed in this article.

Outside pressure

Boeing is under extraordinary pressure. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) clamped down on Boeing yet again after Alaska 1282. A door plug blew off the airplane at 16,000 ft; nobody died, but there were injuries during the explosive decompression and damage to the 10-week-old 737-9 MAX.

The FAA administrator, Mike Whitaker, criticized Boeing for putting production over safety and quality. Some customers were calling for leadership heads. A group of customers demanded a meeting with members of the Board without Calhoun’s presence.

When Calhoun’s predecessor, Dennis Muilenburg, was fired, word was that behind the scenes, the FAA told the Board that progress in returning the grounded MAX to service would not happen with Muilenburg at the helm. This was never confirmed, but many believe this to be true.

The obvious question arises, has the FAA quietly told the Board that dramatic executive management changes are necessary? The ultimate nuclear option the FAA holds over Boeing is to suspend its production certification, PC 700, on the 737 line or even all the commercial airplane production lines. Whitaker said in a news conference he was prepared to do so if necessary.

LNA heard conflicting stories about whether the Board was satisfied with Calhoun’s performance during his tenure. Some stories said the Board was becoming frustrated with Calhoun’s progress in turning Boeing around. Others said the Board remained solidly in Calhoun’s corner, especially chairman Kellner. And this was before Alaska 1282. Since then, Boeing has faced an existential threat to its survival.

Boeing, Boeing, Gone

In a quick investor note from Bob Stallard of Vertical Research, entitled Boeing, Boeing, Gone, he wrote, “While someone losing their job is rarely something to celebrate, we think that this is probably a wise move by the Boeing Board of Directors.

“Many of Boeing’s customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders have arguably lost faith in the company, while its relations with the FAA and NTSB are clearly strained. A change in senior management is a good first step in addressing the company’s myriad of problems, but the major piece that is missing from the puzzle is who will be the next CEO? As we commented last week, we think it will require someone with pedigree and patience, as fixing Boeing is probably a multi-year non-linear journey.”

“The management change comes at a time when most investors have lost faith in current BA management,” wrote Ken Herbert of RBC Capital Markets. “Our view that the company is likely looking for a replacement outside of Boeing is a positive. BA’s culture of quality and manufacturing has been called into question over recent issues, and a new, outside perspective on operations, could be encouraging….”

239 Comments on “Update: Calhoun to retire, Deal out, Pope in, Kellner leaving, Mollenkopf new chair at Boeing

  1. it’s about time.

    Pope is a mistake. they need an Ops/Engineering focused head of both BCA and Boeing as a whole.

    unfortunately, they have not one single sitting senior executive on the bench who meets those qualifications.

    the head of BDS is an IT guy (but at least has a systems engineering background). everybody else is a Neutron Jack MBA type.

    time to find an outsider with deep aerospace engineering credentials

    • Agree wholeheartedly. Time to retire all Welch-clones from Boeing and everywhere else!

      • I disagree on a super tech is needed.

        They are not. When you get to management its about people and systems.

        Where tech matters is in the engineering divisions and on the shop floors.

        Allen was not a tech, he was a lawyer and BCA (which was Boeing) had its best years under that man.

        The best guy I worked for did not know diddly about machinery, he did know how to ask questions and was outstanding on getting anyone to think outside of their perspective.

        He did not supply answers, he got the people around him thinking and we supplied the answers. More than one I would never have come up with if I had kept on the mental track I was on.

        A good CEO hires the people who are good managers at each and every level.

        It could be the janitor that is manager material.

        The orchestra conductor is not a musician. He might be , or he might not be. And if he is its one instrument not every instrument in the orchestra.

        Playing the Oboe teaches you nothing about conducting.

        • I’d take someone who is focused on Ops. someone with a long view and a real plan other than “maximize shareholder value”

          bean counters only care about beans, and in particular, beans that can be counted in the next 3 months.

    • MS Pope is perfect for no change beyond creating a firewall?

      There probably is still some value around that calls for some further siphoning action.

    • If I remember correctly – Jack Welsh held a PHD in Chemical Engineering.

      • From Wikipedia:
        “In 1963, under Welch’s management of the facility, an explosion at a factory blew off the roof, and he was almost fired for that episode.”

      • yes, but he gave that up for financial engineering. he hollowed out GE in the name of shareholder value, and when he left the house of cards collapsed.

          • he also invented the mantra that at all times 10% of your employees need to be fired (even after you just fired 10%)

            this virulent philosophy destroyed whatever semblance there was of company loyalty (in both directions) as it infected all of american business.

            again, within a year after he retired, the house of cards collapsed. he didn’t fix anything, but he sure broke a lot.

    • When you have chaos on the shop floor per quality control failures and the report of people running around like chickens with their heads cut off, then yea, Calhoun had no affect.

      Oddly enough, I was always expected to show up and actually do work, not hide in my bunker in Maine.

      There is a huge amount of potential to work with, you need the management to get it working to what it can be. Not talk about it, do it.

    • Not so
      “they have not one single sitting senior executive on the bench who meets those qualifications..”

      Senior Vice President

      “Delaney also served as the vice president of Engineering for Commercial Airplanes, where he was responsible for product development, design, delegated compliance, certification and safety activities for all commercial airplane models, their derivatives and post-delivery upgrades. … Delaney was vice president and chief project engineer for the 787 Program, vice president of 747/767/777 Engineering, vice president of Commercial Airplanes Test & Validation and chief project engineer of the Next-Generation 737 Program. Delaney began his career at Grumman Aerospace and in 1988, he joined McDonnell Douglas….He has a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Hofstra University and a Master of Business Administration from the Toulouse Business School.”
      Theres also a number of other SVP:
      McKenzie has a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
      Raymond holds a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Illinois, as well as a contract management certificate and a Master of Business Administration from the University of California-Irvine

      • Mike Delaney was a director in Renton when the MCAS debacle went down. He is odious, tone deaf, authoritarian, and formulaic.

        He, as much as anyone, is responsible for the state of the Renton facility, and should be removed.

        • Renton doesnt design planes, just builds them.

          MCAS problems were software testing/validation, not production, as its in operation on Maxs today.

          • Well, having spent 20 years there, and having dealt with Delaney up close, I’ll tell you right now he’s not a solution, he’s part of the problem he helped to create as director of final assembly, and later wings.

        • Steve R.,
          You are talking about the wrong Mike Delaney. There were (are?) 2, and Dukeofurl is talking about someone different.

    • To be honest, I’m not certain how reshuffling the executive deckchairs will really exact any meaningful change to a culture problem on the shop floor.
      I hope this helps. I can’t believe we’re seriously talking about the FAA pulling the plug on BCAs production license. The Dark days continue at Boeing

    • I withhold judgement, as noted in the first article on this Monday, Bill Boeing was not an airplane guy, he was a lumber tycoon.

      Allen was an attorney with the comment at the time that none of the engineers eligible for the CEO position had the management experience

      Allen was the guiding hand through BCA most successful period.

      Some people can manage and some can not regardless of their backgrounds.

      Muilenberg was a disaster.

  2. Why is Calhoun allowed to retire on his own terms? Boeing is too valuable a company / asset to allow a failed CEO to hang on. The Boeing board should decide in 6 months to find his replacement. Done!

    Boeing is a company I have long admired and it pains me to see it in such dire straits. Time to fix it pronto so that we can get the 737 line running again, the 737- Max7 and 10 certified as well as the B777-9 certified or we will have to hold a wake in honor of Boeing!

    Sumit DasGupta

    • What makes you think that the appointment of a new Boeing CEO will in any way influence the FAA’s certification procedure/timeline for the MAX-7, MAX-10 and 777-9?

      • Calhoun is a failure as a leader. What we need is a new leader without the flotsam around a failed leader who has lost all credibility. New leaders can clean the house better, promote leaders from within, with engineering and business skills who have credibility among rank and file and can inspire them to lift the company out of its morass.

        Just look at what Lou Gerstner did at IBM, as a past example!

        Sumit DasGupta

        • I fully agree they should boot Calhoun now.

          Its not like he knows anything, in fact he is and has been a huge detriment (and that is the mild form)

    • I realize this may be unpopular, but the “7” should have been certified at least MONTHS AGO. All the “7” paperwork and flying has been long done. Just my opinion, but the pencil-necked geeks at the FAA used the de icing nacelle issue as an excuse to “sit on their keisters”, and continue their “7 perpetual hold”!

      • From what I read, Boeing was taking forever to provide the FAA with proper SSAs for both the -7 and -10.

        The FAA can’t turn a pig’s ear into a silk purse…especially if the pig is refusing to cooperate.

  3. If they are committed to setting the ship right and stabilize a course the FAA and customers can believe in I’d suggest considering Elizabeth Lund, currently VP Quality BCA. A real engineer that came up through the programs and understands how airplanes are made and what keeps them safe.

    • Does she golf, does she believe in out-sourcing to low cost countries, does she own a sailboat, does she despise labor and living wages, does she know what she wants in her golden parachute, does she believe in a 5th generation of the 737, does she donate money to both political parties in hopes of marginalizing the FAA? If she can answer “Yes” to the above questions, the B of Directors could have her on their short list…

    • Paul:

      And the MAX door plug blow out was what kind of failure?

      Is that not right up Lunds alley that she should have fixed before it became a problem?

      The quality program we know for sure at the shop level was a complete mess aka disaster looking to happen (again I would rightfully get booted if I stated what it was) – goat rope is as nice a term I can think of.

      • Lund was named to her current VP Quality position AFTER the door blowout, to give that organization some credibility. Paul is right – she is top notch and ought to be the BCA CEO right now.

    • Hey
      Is that a P2 at SIR.
      Ran a CSR upband down rhe west coast for yeats

      • good eye. A P2 Stohr. Photo at Thompson Speedway in CT. Been running that car for 10 years with continuous upgrades.

        • We ran a Ralt/Cosworth based CSR for years. Love sports racers but really couldnt afford to go p1 with a new chassis. Bike motored p2s are the future, enjoy it

  4. I think we are about to find out how thin the bench is not only at Boeing but in the US aerospace business. My vote would be to see if they could get Mitch Snyder who just retired as CEO of Bell. He’s done arguably a good job at Bell since being named CEO. (https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopters/an-unlikely-revolutionary-how-mitch-snyder-is-shaking-up-bell/142821.article) They’ve had some program wins, overseen a very big generational shift in their engineering workforce and he is likely a known quantity with the FAA since they’ve been pretty active working Bell 525 certification (which is supposedly finally going to happen this year).

    Not sure on his age, but I’m guessing he’s not going to be around for the decade or so you’d like to lead this type of turn around, so you would need him really to right the ship and identify mid-level folks internally who could finish the project.

  5. Calhoun is staying on through the rest of the year. Is this for the sake of “continuity” or to give him time to rewrite his severance package to accout for the 25% drop in the share price?
    I don’t know what his severance/retirement package is, but if it’s anything like Muilenberg he will be rewarded handsomely for his failure.

    • Spot on.

      Funny how its the people down below that pay the price for that greed, stupidity and incompetence .

      Don’t Do As I Do, Do as I Say.

        • Again judgement should be reserved and she is BCA now, so its going to play out and we get to see.

          • Deal was an aerospace engineering graduate

            Im more curious about the line manger for the Renton assembly plant.

            Its all very well working at Global services and getting to know the customers face to face and their issues and boosting your resume. But its the production lines, often the ugly step mother of any major manufacturing/engineering business, where the bottom quartile of managers are sent

  6. Calhoun announced he’s leaving and the stock rises 2%…..how’s that for a “don’t let the door hit you in the a$$” moment?

  7. Stephanie Pope is one of the best leaders Boeing has. You guys are so one dimensional with thinking an engineer solves this company’s problems. It’s people who actually have the right attitude towards leadership and actually listen to the engineers.

    Stan Deal was an engineer
    Mullinberg was an engineer
    Mcnerny was engineer
    Stoncipher studied physics.

    Boeing has had way more engineers in influentional
    Positions than any other profession and they’ve all run it to the ground. Please give me a break

    • However, seeing as the biggest underlying problems at Boeing are currently all of a technical/engineering nature, putting a bean counter at the helm really isn’t going to provide any actual solutions.

      • Putting an engineer is not the solution either. The background of the person in charge at level is largely irrelevant. You don’t understand Boeings problem.

        Boeings problem is a culture of concealment that stems from management and managers being incentivized by the wrong metric which is just production output and profitability.

        You change the focus, you get the results. Is it accountant’s that are running the programs or development platforms. It’s all engineers!

        Boeing is filled with engineers but they have the wrong focus and they’re not empowered.

        Stan Deal was a rubbish leader, Stephanie Pope is miles better

        Stephanie Pope is a good leader nevertheless.

        • Boeing’s problem (since the McBoeing takeover) is money uber alles.

          the only thing senior management has cared about since the takeover is extracting money.

          developing a good product hasn’t even been a secondary goal. milking the cow until it dies is all they care about.

          • This is America baby !

            You should see how it works in Silicon valley, those puny Boeing stock awards wouldnt even work for a minor startup

      • Its the Bean counters that keep the engineers from bankrupting the company. Again, many of Boeing leaders that are leaving are engineers too.

        • Its a balance and a good manager knows how to balance the situation, none of which has Boeing had in all too long.

          And more clearly, managers they have had are hell bent on gutting the company.

      • Stop posting inconvenient facts. We are emotional now and engineers will save the day.

      • That’s before the financialization of the U.S. popularized by the Wall Street. That era is gone.

    • Eh Mcnerney was not even close to an engineer..and I agree not that it really matters what really matters is most of all that you have listed have ONE thing in common and that is they all went to the school of Jack Welch. Stonecipher, McNerney and now Calhoun all GE welch fanboys, oh and don’t forget our new CFO another ex GE representative. Not sure why you included Stan since he was not Exco, most of the ones below the leaders are not going to challenge those leading the way. No its pretty clear where the GE leadership has led Boeing, right down the drain.

    • Completely agree with how wrong the “engineer good, MBA or anyone not engineer bad” line is.

      Fingers crossed you are right about Pope.

      • The main skill is finding the right managers and give them the correct authority and funding, working in a sound system that produce happy customers, owners, employees, suppliers, banks and government.

    • I agree with Opus. Boeing’s problems are primarily cultural. You don’t have to be an engineer to fix cultural problems.

      However at this time in Boeing, one probably shouldn’t be a profit-motivated business person with a burning desire to please shareholders with large dividends at every moment. Not knowing Pope in anyway whatsoever, I’ve no idea if she fits such a description or not. I hope not.

      A cultural change means stopping doing one thing, and starting doing another. There is a period of time when one is, in effect, building nothing whatsoever. During that phase it’s bye-bye revenue / profits. For Pope to succeed, she is going to need some kind of financial license to take such steps. If she’s not been given that license, or she hasn’t asked for it, then I fear that it’s game-over for BCA.

      It doesn’t even matter if the necessary steps don’t involve a full shutdown / reset. If she hasn’t got the authority to go as far a voluntary shutdown, then she’s been set up to fail; the smallest, tiniest mis-step and the FAA could shutdown Boeing anyway. However, if she does have the authority to go that far but doesn’t use it, keeps some sort of delivery going and succeeds then she’ll have achieved a very notable feat.

      Two of the things that are going to have to be dealt with on her watch is the 737MAX -7 and -10, and the 777x. I wish her the very best of luck.

      • While I agree with Opus as well, Pope is not Boeing.

        It may be a bad choice, the big ticket one is at the top.

        Pope can’t fix anything unless she has full support from the top and the metrics at all cost jerks are removed that are above her position

        The FAA wants to see progress, they don’t want to shut Boeing down and if she can make progress, then they will give her some slack.

        We all know you don’t take a job and be brilliant at it day 1. You need to see who, what, where and how and then strike like a Cobra as needed.

        To do that she will need carte blanch and that only comes from the top.

        • Well, if she’s not the right person to fill the job, perhaps Boeing today has taken one more step into the abyss. Abyssi have a nasty habit of having ever-increasingly steep sides.

          We’ll soon find out. Customers like Emirates were already wanting a serious chat with the Boeing board. If they’re not reassured by this shuffling of a poor hand of cards, I’m sure they’ll continue to express their views.

          On the topic of progress, I’m not sure what it is that can be measured to demonstrate it. One cannot easily and quickly measure “cultural change”. It shows up eventually, in long term statistics. It’s almost as likely that claim of “progress” is made along side a run of good luck, when in fact nothing has actually changed. It’s very easy for a surface change to disguise a worsening situation concealed lower down.

          What Pope probably needs to do a a massive revision of pay / remuneration, to remove any trace of quantity-related bonuses across the whole supply change, and replace it with quality-related bonuses. Boeing once claimed to have adopted the “Andon” system; it’s high time they put their corporate heart and soul into that concept.

          Putting their money where there mouth is would be a measurable cultural change.

          • You should not need to bribe managers with stock options to follow procedures and old company rules. Boeing had a problem of hiring and paying the best since Microsoft went public and you get more and more electronics and software into the aircrafts. If labour cost increase you have to design new aircrafts not requiring so many staff, all other industry has to do it from sawmills to cars.

    • All these people sold out whatever engineering principles they had for power and wealth. Boeing’s executive compensation motel incentivized it.

    • McNerny was absolutely NOT an engineer. Where did you read that?
      There is a lot scepticism that another person with a finance background can fix what ails BCA.
      Besides, if she cared about anything more than cash flow and stock buybacks Calhoun would not have given her the job.

  8. Sure sounds like the CEO position is being left open for Shanahan. But should have left Pope at COO and promoted from within for BCA.

    • It’s because the COO role was a preempt to the CEO role but they’re going externally for that

    • I support Opus on this.

      She is now BCA president, we will find out. The Industry is going to have low tolerance if she can’t cut it.

      • If she supports cabin integrity ahead of lean manufacturing that would be a plus. But her mentors may have been some of the recently 86ed CEOs and VPs… But as noted – The Bench is thin…

        • It all depends on what you really think and can you manage.

          Gorbachev came out of the kill or be killed Soviet system.

          I am not making any predictions, but we do have to wait and see how this plays out. Its not like we have any input.

          I just want a successful Boeing. I don’t care if they hire a dog catcher who turns out to be the best CEO or any other manager since Allen.

          • TW, it is late in the game. The MCAS crashes were five years ago. The 787, the 777x, the -7, the -10… never in the history of aerospace has a major manufacturer been so off course and been able to stay in business. Boeing has exhausted all the benefits of being half of a duopoly. It is truly a now or never moment. If they don’t right this sinking ship people will start talking about bankruptcy, issuing more shares, breaking up the company… The new leadership must hit the ground running doing the right things. I’m out of cliches, but they can’t afford anymore hedge fund inspired leaders…

          • BA/BCA doesn’t have many chances, it’s not like McDonnell which waited to “acquire another company with the other company’s cash” by pumping by stock price.

  9. Such BS. Nothing is changing at Boeing…. Absolutely nothing. Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic
    So Pope will be CEO at the end of the year as planned all along.
    Just where has Pope been all along since the Alaska accident?
    How can the airline customers be happy with this 🤷‍♂️
    Other than continue to get cheap aircraft…. But they can’t even get them!!

    This change won’t get the 737-7/10 or 777X certified any sooner or inflect cultural change within the ranks.

    • Pope will not be CEO at the end of the year that’s obviously why she’s been demoted to CEO of BCA. You guys should read.

      As for the Alaska Incident. I think Boeing a conscious effort of keeping her out of it because she didn’t cause the problem

        • So if they weren’t going to hire externally why not just leave pope as COO and hire from within BCA?

        • Opus has a balanced view unlike some here.

          You can doom and gloom all you want, regardless she will be given a chance and with the focus on BCA, its not going to be a good old Stan thing.

          I worked for a female manager for a short time. She did not have the chops for the job and I told her she did not. She thought she was something wondrous. I had seen her get run over by a grossly belligerent crew member. He should have been suspended. She did nothing. The Client pulled his access as the incident was public.

          I was willing to give her a chance, I just knew her too well to think she could cut it.

          I will give Pope the chance.

          • IMHO this has nothing to do with her being a female it has everything to do with her not having ANY experience to be running BCA. She has no real world experience running complex engineering and manufacturing businesses, nada. I mean you could say the same for Stan and we see how well that has worked out, give me an old school person that has come up from the ranks like Alan Mulally etc., otherwise its just going to be the same ole, same ole that we have seen for the last 15 years. Whats the cheapest option, yeah do that…SMDH.

    • Airdoc — Exactly.
      The ship is still going down, regardless of who’s at the helm.

      New Boeing CEO: “Dear FAA, please stop taking so long to certify our aircraft models.”

      FAA: “Dear Boeing CEO, please make your aircraft certifiable, so that we can actually certify them.”

      New Boeing CEO: “But I don’t have sufficient money or engineering talent for that.”

      FAA: “That’s your problem, not ours.”

      • As I recall it was Chicken Little that kept saying the sky was falling.

        When the USS Enterprise (CV-6) got bombed and torpedoed in WWII they did not run around screaming and shouting.

        The did damage control and saved the ship that in turn saved the US in the Pacific.

        Boeing has a lot of promise. It needs management.

        So I gather you suggest we just say its gone and do nothing?

        Good think my folks did not give up when things were at their worst and had 3 of their kids go with them.

        • No need to go back to WW II, I remember what happened more recently:
          “On 12 July 2020, a fire started on a lower vehicle-storage deck while the ship LHD-6 was undergoing maintenance at Naval Base San Diego. It took four days for firefighters to extinguish the fire, which injured at least 63 sailors and civilians and severely damaged the ship. […] Repairs to the ship were estimated to take up to seven years and cost up to $3.2 billion, so the ship was decommissioned on 15 April 2021 and sold for scrap.”

          • Well that is the kind of thing I expect.

            Of course they should have let the ship blow up and sink so they could spend tens if not hundreds of millions to salvage it.

            You know, all that environmental stuff they talk about.

            You take a look at what you got and you get to work. I can remember certain countries in WWII that gave up or decided they were immune from the consequences.

            Amazing two neutrals have decided which side of the bread we quit butter is on and joined NATO.

            I believe it was Belgium that figured they could sit it out in WWII, that worked well for everyone.

  10. The Boeing board could put the greatest leader of engineering, manufacturing, and sales in human history in the CEO chair but when a 26 y.o. analyst from a Wall Street hedge fund calls and says “I need 10 cents more per share” the stock buyback machine will be turned back on. That’s the fundamental problem and no shuffling of job titles will change it.

    • Agreed, but it has to start someplace and we have to see how it plays out.

      Hopefully Calhoun gets the heave ho as soon as they see none of this is working and he needs to be gone now.

      Then its who replaces him and how its handled.

      Frankly you could put me in charge and it would be no worse. At least I would be trying.

  11. I guess it takes 9 months to platinum plate the chutes, since with the great news BA stock goes up a little. What is really needed is for most of the bored of directionless to walk thru Renton Assembly and listen to the greetings of the workers- and then perp walk calhoun and a few of his budddies out the gate right after the annual meeting in April this year.

  12. It’s too bad Alan Mullaly is 78. Likely too old to lead Boeing back to greatness.

    • the 65 age limit is a self inflicted problem.

      they could toss that at the next board meeting if they wanted to.

        • I believe its a case by case basis.

          Of course when you have such a fantastic CEO like Calhoun you extend them to 85.

    • Or you could bring in Mullaly and a younger side kick and once things are moving in the right direction Mullaly could drop out in a well deserved retirement.

  13. It is informational to realize that even GE was able to move on. After the wheels came off the axle with Immelt, they were able to get a capable CEO after a few tries.

    Boeing can succeed again if they are willing to look to the outside and find a new leader with a track record of transformation

  14. Alan Mullaly, even at 78, may be the right man for the job. He has credibility with the rank and file who ultimately have to do the heavy lifting to get Boeing back on track.

    • The psykological effect of him returning in power and give a speach of getting the working together team running again together with Scott Kirby (United Airlines) and Bob Jordan (SWA) will have a huge impact in the offices and hangars. He only need to be there for 2-3 months to get things going and do a new contract with UAW then let his crown princes take over.

    • Bill Allen cared about making good airplanes and trusted that profit would follow.

      every CEO since the McBoeing takeover cared only about milking the cow.

      it is about corporate philosophy, not what your college degree is in.

  15. I bet this was in the works last for the last few weeks. When customers from DOD to airlines are publicly calling for change and the Board being called out publicly, something has to give. No doubt the FAA and White House had a little influence too, clean house. The conversations that are not public, from all of the above that is what I would know. The most telling is that Kellner is leaving. How he survived the MAX fiasco and stayed on the board is telling.

    • Everything about today’s announcement was choreographed. It was timed to have maximum positive market impact.

      That aside, you only heard what Boeing wants you to hear. No doubt there was probably leverage from the FAA that production probation period was never going away unless there were leadership changes. Customer were prepared to indefinitely withhold future orders. They are already scouting out future management replacements.

      • I do not see anyone withholding orders , they can’t afford it, even a bad aircraft is better than none in their view.

        Yea they hit the board.

        Of course it was choreographed and all the spin stuff.

        • Sometimes it’s optics. Everyone knows the affected customers need their planes and the orders were always going to come eventually. Sad reality is that any follow-on order was years away from service. What is being witheld is the PR bump that comes with a new order. Will be interested to see if and how much Boeing is willing to concess to drive major orders this year.

        • I heard JAL ordered 11 Airbus A320neo family even though they have 20 Boeing 737 MAX on order *since last year*.

          No doubt some customers ordered the MAX expecting huge compensation check, just in case. 🙂

          • Its a lot easier for JAL to jump ship. They dont have a Max fleet yet. That neo order may have been a hedge (or a club) to make Boeing sweeten their existing deal.

            United is already baked. If I were Airbus, I would tell UAL that if they want early A321s then they need to take delivery of their existing order for A350 that was otherwise never going to deliver. But thats just me.

          • ” 21 Airbus A350-900 aircraft from Airbus, along with 11 A321neo aircraft, and 10 Boeing 787-9 aircraft from The Boeing Company, as part of its fleet renewal plan.” JAL press release

            they already fly A350, and the A321 could include the unique LR or XLR variants , very useful in regional Asia flights – it can reach Singapore from say 2nd tier Japanese cities

          • @DoU
            According to JAL, the A321neo are going to fly domestic flights.

    • Perhaps Boeing thinks that a Pope will have Papal Infallibility 😇

  16. Pope bio from Boeing
    “Stephanie Pope has been serving as president and chief executive officer of Boeing Global Services since April 2022, where she was responsible for leading the company’s aerospace services development and delivery model for commercial, government and aviation industry customers worldwide, focusing on global supply chain and parts distribution, aircraft modifications and maintenance, digital solutions, aftermarket engineering, analytics and training”

    The real question…what do the airlines and investor think of her capabilities

    In contrast
    Pat Shanahan bio from Spirit Aero
    “Patrick M. Shanahan was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Spirit AeroSystems on September 30, 2023. Spirit AeroSystems is a global leader in the manufacture of structures for commercial and military aircraft and serves the aftermarket. Shanahan’s career spans both commercial and military programs”

    “Shanahan served at The Boeing Company for more than three decades, including as Senior Vice President, Supply Chain and Operations, Senior Vice President, Commercial Airplane Programs, Vice President and General Manager of the 787 Dreamliner, Vice President and General Manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems, and Vice President and General Manager of Boeing Rotorcraft Systems. ”

    This reminds me of the Capital One Banking commercial.

    “Shanahan for your Boeing CEO is easier than picking Charles Barkley first in a lineup of eager young athletes.”

    • Pat would be about the worst possible leader for Boeing I could think of. Keep in mind that virtually everyone in the company who has done well under the GE leadership regime, did so because the exhibited exactly the wrong qualities that are needed. About the only one that I think might be good that others would probably know is Elizabeth, but she would need some help, and she doesn’t seem to understand the issues with the tanker. And, she is not the natural charmer that Mulally was.

      The best person I can think of who has experience in Boeing would be Brian McCarthy (https://www.linkedin.com/in/brian-a-mccarthy-msi/ ), who was a production manager at the Everett site under Elizabeth. Brian left to go to Blue Origin and ran into their issues, so didn’t stay.

      Anyone in that job is going to need a lot of help from some honest finance folks, and I’m not sure there is such a thing in a large aerospace company any more. Bring in a college prof who is also a CPA. They should have some economics or psychology (often the same thing) in their background as well.

      People are just that. Having a fancy resume is not always an indicator of talent, and in Boeing it is often quite the opposite. The things that are most broken at Boeing are the leadership values. Someone who is not an engineer but who has the right value system would be far better than an engineer who is just another mix of greedy jerk or bully.

  17. Whoever becomes Boeing’s CEO will make further management changes. So Mrs Pope, who I believe is a very capable executive, should not get too comfortable in her new office.

  18. Boeing has lost confidence. If you don’t have confidence in your systems and people then you won’t take risks because you are no longer confident in your ability to execute on risky endeavors, like building new airplanes.

    • I do not agree at all.

      Calhoun was nothing more than a long line of Boeing Liquidator.

      It had nothing to do with confident because Callous and the board knew only one thing, greed, get their ill gotten gains and run.

      Calhoun could not navigate a row boat in a small pond. And that was the problem, maybe still is or will be.

      But doing nothing was not working either.

  19. I am amazed at the people that put in comments that are, well just quit.

    Really? why not just quit breathing?

    Those of us who really care want Boeing fixed.

    I am not stupid and I am not saying it is or has gotten fixed, but its reached the right level now where a fix can possibly take place.

    • Boeing is sitting on $16 bill in cash/cash equivalents – $10 bill credit line undrawn and has $500 bill of forward orders with deposits paid.
      the issues are manageable

        • Looks like some people like to conveniently overlook the company’s liabilities, continuing lack of earnings, increasing costs required to actually manufacture orders (with essentially zero margin), ongoing lack of certifications of new models, etc.,…but, hey, why bother with actual reality?

          • If you actually read the comments you will know how poorly you come across.

            There is a group that wants Boeing to succeed.

            We are not blind to the issues.

            They may never get back to what they were, but they have a huge amount going for them to be a very good Number 2 in Aviation.

            If you quit every time you run into a problem you don’t get very far before you are on the street and homeless.

          • Shhhhhhhh,,,

            We don’t talk about that. We only focus on the positives. We especially avoid discussing:

            1) $52 billion in debt
            2) $56 billion in Unearned Revenue (read Advances)
            3) Grossly over valued Inventory, stuffed with Expenses
            4) $34 billion in A/P & Accrued Liabilities

            Otherwise we’ll get called names and told that we understand nothing about Accounting and Financial Statements. Or that they really don’t matter and are just focusing too much on ‘bean counter’ stuff.

            (then we’ll get serenaded with some highly irrelevant story about war, automobiles or machinery….)

          • @frank

            No, we read your Dissertation of why Boeing sucks the first time. It’s you that think we need to read it again 20 more times in the thread. But hey, if all that typing make you happy, have it.

          • @Williams

            Well, when posters in here ignore the facts and realties of the financial issues facing Boeing and instead prefer to post things like this;

            ‘Boeing is sitting on $16 bill in cash/cash equivalents – $10 bill credit line undrawn and has $500 bill of forward orders with deposits paid.
            the issues are manageable’


            Boeing may have $16 billion in the bank, but it’s all borrowed money

            They may have $500 billion in orders, but for 5 years, they have had negative margins, costing them money.


            What would you suggest then? What is your opinion on their financial condition?

            Besides your feeling that you’ve read it too many times, have you any actual complaints with the facts presented herein? Are the numbers wrong? Are the conclusions incorrect?

      • Lol. Don’t you know Boeing has $10 billion debt due in less than two years, a further $8 billion debt due in 2026?
        BA barely maintains its investment grade credit rating by *pretending* to clear its 737 MAX inventory *within* two years from 2020! 😬 Oops.

        There’s a massive cash drain for this quarter. A lot depends on how quickly the new CEO can turn around the ship, without more “quality escapes”. The next 18 months is key, otherwise it may run into a liquidity crisis and has to go out to borrow again.

  20. Meanwhile over at Airbus. Laughing all the way to the bank. A321XLR will be certified soon, sold out orders for the A320neo and A321.
    Expanding the Mobile FAL.
    Flipping once Boeing dedicated airline customers, i.e. Korean and JAL….. and more to come.
    Why? Because they deliver!

    • Sure. Times are good for Airbus. While Airbus deals with labor issues in Canada, investors wanting more of that “bank”, and we have not even started talking about the workers in Toulouse who read the same articles of Airbus making ‘bank”.

      Airbus is the preeminent builder of airliners in a market of two. We will see how they handle it.

      • And Airbus has to deal with the fallout of Spirit and the parallel universe of the A220 build network.

        Dang, they might have to drop the stock buy back, horrors.

        The A220 is what they needed but it does not fit in with the existing infrastructure (and contracts) and when will it make money?

        • Airbus infrastructure is spread all the world. They have made a virtue of having more plants than Boeing.
          As for existing contracts, the A350 needed a whole new infrastructure to build a a fuselage/wing/empennage of a large widebody of carbon fibre, just as Boeing did.

          • Duke:

            That is well and fine. But most of those plants were NOT Airbus or Airbus associated plants were they?

            Wings are made where? (and by who)

            Fuselages are made where? (and by who)

            Contracts were lucrative due to the risk mfgs took.

            Airbus built the A350 in the same system they build the other aircraft. They had center wing section experience with the A380

            They got to vet the contractors (and if Spirit is not up to snuff as has been expressed, they got no one to blame but themselves for thinking you can get a great deal on the cheap)

            The FBW logic in the A220 is not at all like Airbus and it never will be. By by commonality.

            Spirit bought out Belfast (dumb Airbus) and now they need to make money on a contract that was making money.

            So no it ain’t all gravy and if Airbus buys out their part of Spirit, then its a setback to any profitability for the A220 program.

          • 914 firm orders for A220 , many from airlines with A320 types

            I think you over rate the FBW differences to actual airline operations. Union rules are more likely to limit the type of planes the pilots fly
            Its a side stick controller too !

        • It might end up with Boeing and Airbus carving up Spirit, with Boeing buying Wichita and Airbus buying Belfast.
          Boeing and Spirit are already talking about merger and I don’t believe Airbus would accept the situation where Boeing builds A220 wings and is in position to sabotage the program.

        • @TW

          Dang, what “stock buy back” are you referring to? 🤔
          Horror, horror …

          • https://www.google.com/search?q=airbus+buying+its+own+stock

            “The transactions are part of a share buyback programme that started on 20 November 2023, in order to partially fund Airbus’ Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP).”


            I’ve seen floated a board membership for the union(s)
            this would in a way go towards “DE Mittbestimmung” setup.
            Only caveat on my side: Are US unions capable of cooperative behaviour? current B management was not/never!

          • @Uwe

            As of March 2022, Airbus has 788,136,199 shares issued.
            Over about 30 days from Feb to Mar 2023, Airbus repurchased a total of 685,000 shares (roughly 0.087% of shares outstanding).

            Conclusion: Airbus does not use share repurchases to boost shareholder value,
            the reality is that the share repurchase authorization is actually barely used.


            See also:
            “The …share buyback programme… for the sole purpose of covering Airbus’ long-term incentive plan in shares. The repurchased shares will be redistributed to the beneficiaries of long-term incentive plans according to the relevant plan rules.”

            Last but not the least, we know that Airbus has built up a war chest of €10 billion, I’m not sure a temporary hiccup would endanger the financial position of Airbus. The chicken little may say otherwise?

            Horror horror 😱 Airbus is positioned to work on its next-generation clean-sheet design aircraft, when Boeing is stuck in its self-inflicted manufacturing/safety hell.

    • “A321XLR will be certified soon…”

      every year its moved to “later next year”
      And hows that A350-1000ULR with belly tank upgrade for Qantas going

      Thats right , it too is …delayed, again

      I wonder how the A400M financial debacle is going, now that the A380
      financial debacle is at last off the books- tax dodge , it seems some have short memories. The actual HQ of Airbus is a sleepy town of Leiden in the Netherlands, as their financial accounting is a series of ‘sandwiches’
      [Airbus is headquartered in Leiden, Mendelweg 30, Netherlands, only Airbus Commercial in Toulouse , like Boeing is where the planes are made

      • Compare with Boeing’s MAX 10 or 777-9, which would you think will be certified sooner?? When will BA 777-9 receive TIA?

        • The Airbus A321XLR will be certified this year. Those Boing products you mention: heh, 2027-2030 maybe?

          • Eh, I can’t hear you. Must be that echo …………………….

        • Yah, I don’t know what they’re going on about ‘every year’

          ‘The A321XLR was officially launched at the Paris Air Show on 17 June 2019, with deliveries at that time expected from 2023.’

          Sounds like they’re talking about Boeing:

          Go-ahead and Initial Delivery
          737 MAX 7 2011 2019
          737 MAX 8 2011 2017
          737 MAX 9 2011 2018
          737 MAX 10 2017 2020
          787-10 2013 2018
          777X 2013 2020


          From their own 2018 financials.

          Projection at it’s finest

      • Can @DoU enlighten us why delivery of ANZ’s 787-9/10 is delayed from late 2023 to mid-2025 the earliest?

    • Airbus has dips as well. During the years of the A400M, A380, Tiger, NH-90 were not well managed programs. Gustav Humbert/Noël Forgeard quit and Louis Gallois took over. ” Taking charge following the rapid turnover in leadership in 2006, Airbus CEO Louis Gallois provided a steady, stabilizing hand at the controls for the next six years through 2012″, kind of were Boeing is now…

  21. Boeing’s failures are evidence of a failed executive compensation system. Pay which is tied to stock options or to yearly stock performance make no sense in this type of business because executives get to take credit for a decision made a decade ago by a predecessor and aren’t held accountable for their own bad decisions that might take decade to see the outcomes. There is no accountability here.

    And because executives are paid based upon short term and not long term results the entire company is incentivized to do what makes sense in the short term. And so you get gimmicks like “Partnering for Success” and extending payments to suppliers to 120 days.

    This compensation model might work for Silicon Valley start-ups, but it should be done away with for capital intensive companies with long product development and production cycles.

    • JB:

      Pay based on any stock is an autocratic disqualification for good management.

      It does not matter what happens to the stock (short of bankruptcy) the only incentive is to try to make it artificially high which means crap for management. If stock does not go up., they still walk away with 10s of millions.

  22. Boeing has not been Boeing since it has been run by financials rather than engineers.

    So sad and so preventable

  23. I wonder why Lockheed VPs, engineers and executives are not mentioned too often as people to take over the floundering Boeing Corporation? They have to have a large amount of talent over there on the East Coast…

    • How hard is it to be an exec at Lockheed Martin? When was the last time a Lockheed Martin project was on time or budget? Never mind, they might be perfect for Boeing.

  24. “Dave Calhoun needs the next Boeing CEO to be a success and he has more than $45 million riding on it”

    $24M payday … plus another $45.5M if Ms. Pope can manage to get the stock price up by 37%.


    What a nice world up there at the top: do nothing meaningful for years, generate regular waffle and word salad, put on a grim face when planes almost crash, leave the company in worse shape than that in which you found it…and get paid tens of millions to do so

    • Just mind-boggling.. is this a Great Country [for the Few], or what?

    • Leave Russell Wilson out of this. Denver Broncos cut him and is paying his negotiated contract.

      • As a Steelers fan, I can only hope that Tomlin can turn him back into a winner. There is Fields as a plan B, but I think Wilson is our best shot.

        Stunning the complete turnover in the QB room in the space of a few months; Trubisky, Rudolph & Pickett all out – Wilson and Fields in.

        We better draft O-line heavy to protect them.

        • For Tomlin sake I hope you are right. I think he may feel the heat if they do not make the playoffs. Would like for Russell to redeem himself in Pittsburgh.

          Y’all got him at a an A330neo discount…….lol sorry couldn’t resist.

          Be thankful you are not a glutton for punishment Dallas Cowboy fan.

          • ‘Y’all got him at a an A330neo discount…….lol sorry couldn’t resist.’

            No worries. Heck – I think we did better than that – we got him at the Boeing “Here’s $440 million cash SWA” discount.

            Denver is literally paying some $38 million for Wilson and the Steelers to come into their house, this year – and beat them.


            Tomlin. Never a losing season. Our offense has let us down, the past few years. I dunno about Arthur Smith…I guess we’ll see.


            Dallas….sigh. All your problems begin and end with Jerry. You guys should have been the Patriots dynasty, back in the day, with Troy, Emmitt & Irvin. And that great O-line.

            Going to let Dak play out his final year, huh?

          • @Frank

            SWA discount, a good one, not sure which is bigger. LOL.

            Dak as a QB is good, not great, sometimes you need great (as KC shows) to win in the playoffs. But when Jerry Jones falls in love with a player, he falls hard. Many here want to go in another direction at QB, but we know Jerry has FOMO with Dak.

            For all the criticizing Russell gets, he is a good and can be great QB, more than I can say about Dak.

          • @williams


            IMO (and I may be off here) the problems started when he hooked up with Ciara and got away from focusing on football and tried to further his brand.

            I don’t really understand why some of these guys do this – get attached at an early age and get distracted. Derek Jeter had the right attitude; focus on your trade (which is very short, especially in the Not For Long league), work hard and then, when your done…settle down.

            Be an NFL (or pro sports of any kind) is like being married to a very demanding partner. Hard physical work, mental focus required, travel, sleeping in beds that are not your own, eating out, time away from your home base….

            ….you risk spreading yourself too thin and sacrificing one for the other.

            You can’t have it all.


            On Dak;

            I’d like to see what he could do on a team that drafts not because the boss is in love with a player, but because he can do the job.

            I wonder how many time Jerry has gotten in McCarthy’s ear and told him what plays the team should be running…

    • CEO of an American defense company needs to be a US citizen.

      • Damn, was so proud of this genius idea
        He could do it though

      • Mr Enders, here is your copy of the American Constitution, study it well, test is next week!

        Now there is an exemption Boeing should apply for.

        And yes I am kidding.

          • It would first be necessary for Leahy to have a good airplane or two to sell- as he had at Airbus.

            I doubt he’d have any interest in this legacy outfit.

          • flying frog
            March 26, 2024
            Ideal Calhoun replacement comes from AIRBUS.
            His name is Fabrice BREGIER, top training in best french elite écoles.
            Top experience CEO airbus helicopters, then CEO AIRBUS ,dream team with John Leahy.
            Biggest handicap: he is French but john Leahy is a US citizen! and plaid a vital role in Airbus commercial success. A problem for managing a US defense company, but there are certainly ways around this obstacle.
            Just over 62 which leaves some time for this huge challenge.
            The obvious solution for a very difficult problem.

      • Is Slattery (former Embraer) American?

        Always thought he would be an interesting pick for future Boeing CEO once the planned merger/JV (with Embraer) would have been finished.

          • Thank you for the response.

            Will they be looking for a separate CEO and charmain of the board? Or someone that combines it like Calhoun?
            I hope seperate plus put people in the board that are knowledgeable about safety and production.

          • The chair of the board has gone to Steve Mollenkopf who will pick the next CEO.

  25. Boring should recruit Richard Anderson (ex NW and DL CEO) for CEO and/or Board member. His tenure at DL for nearly a decade and creating the best airline in the world speaks for itself.

    • Weird sh!t from a moribund corporation. Unless..

      Maybe the superbly qualified Ms. Pope can be appointed Emperor for Life, as well.

  26. Perhaps Elon Musk could be tapped as the CEO to lead Boeing out of the morass it’s been in for the last 20-or-so years. I believe Musk could bring a lot of novel engineering ideas to the realm of commercial jetliners: like fully self-flying planes and over-the-air software updates. For example, under Elon’s stewardship, I seriously doubt MCAS would have ever been an issue (a software update would have fixed it).

    And can you imagine the day when fully self-flying jetliners become the norm? I guess Elon would refer to these planes as “Roboliners”. Anyways, the airlines could get rid of the pilots and save lot of money. Additionally, the rest of the flight crew could be replaced by vending machines!

    More exciting still, Elon could open up an aircraft-assembly factory in the land of the most obedient workers in history: North Korea! It’s better than China! I mean, think of the money he would save – and all the Labor Union headaches that he’d avoid. Also, there would be no “Quality Escapes” from the North Korean Gigafactories – not if those workers want to live to see another day. Quality Problems solved!

    With Elon’s at the helm, I figure Boeing will monopolize the market in short order. Elon could then use all the additional money Boeing is making to complete his Starship – which Elon says will save mankind from being a “single-planet species”. Just think…if the Boeing BOD is forward thinking enough to choose Musk, they could not only save Boeing, but potentially save humanity as well.

  27. I wonder if Boing will be able to service their massive debt
    during a time of rising interest rates, very low aircraft delivery
    numbers, and labor unrest? Setting aside for the moment that
    company’s ongoing QC issues, and *rising public resistance*
    to flying on their aircraft..

    The changes at the top of that company are looking like lipstick on a pig, so far.

    • Well West has said that he expects a $5 billion cash burn and BA has short term debt balance of just over $5 billion, so the piggy bank seems like the place they are going to go, to cover it.

      Which means he is hoping that all other expenses will be covered by incoming revenues.

      We’ll see, I guess.

        • The money burn is not sustainable over multiple quarters. Something is going to give. More 737 production or GM styled prepackaged BK

        • …and wipe out all the shareholders.

          I dunno. I guess Ch 11 could be a course of action. If push came to shove, I’m sure the shareholders would prefer an equity sale to raise $30 billion and take the stock dilution.

          • Would they? That is the other option. Ironic after all the stock buybacks……………….which did profit me.

            FAA keeps capping Boeing (yes we know why) then it is BK.

          • Would they?

            The shareholders? As one of them, would you rather be wiped out and get nothing, or at least have something, which a company with less debt can build on?

            Please explain by ‘we know why’.


          • My exposure to Boeing is greatly reduced, got out a couple of years ago just after the MAX crash. Have a couple of funds that include Boeing and some Airbus. As I stated, the stock buybacks were good to me. Call me selfish, I don’t care.

            The stock buybacks were not the problem, screwing up the 787 implementation and bringing on a 30 Billion weight around their necks was. 787 goes as planned (yes you can blame management on that one), Y1 , the NB would have been developed as planned. Y3, 777 replacement to follow.

            Any BK would be prepackaged due to the sensitive Defense side of things. To be frank, it would be a bailout more than BK. As with GM, some parties would be more protected than others.

            Boeing has almost 50 Billion in debt, and will need another 10 Billion for NB development, and who knows how many billions more till the FAA allows enough cash-generating 737s to be sold to be viable. While a company can survive with a high debt load (VW has 200 billion in debt), its an impediment to growth.

            So if we are talking about Boeing’s future, what are they going to do? Issue more stock with numbers going in the wrong direction? Yeah, that will go well. Get management in place first, and get credibility with Walls Street/ customers. Then the hard part begins. I am not emotional about this, just cold logic. It’s a merger or BK.

          • ‘So if we are talking about Boeing’s future, what are they going to do? Issue more stock with numbers going in the wrong direction? ‘

            It depends on who you are trying to placate here.

            If you want to fix the situation, you take your medicine and start back at maybe $100 a share and go forward from there.

            If you want to please shareholders, then you risk getting the company deeper into trouble and hobbling along.


            I guess it depends what you are trying to accomplish;

            It seems like we both agree that BA needs a large cash infusion to

            1) Pay off debt
            2) Fix production on current models
            3) Launch new models


            ‘Get management in place first, and get credibility with Walls Street/ customers.’

            I think the credibility with Wall St part is what got them into trouble in the first place.

          • And screw the Pension funds, as is typical- *after*
            spending $60,000,000,000+ on stock buybacks benefiting the Very Few.

          • Frank P
            I have a feeling that Uncle Sam may soon be helping Boeing along with some sort of bailout. It is, after all, an election year, and the present administration won’t want to let a proiminent company like Boeing go down the drain — just think of the points to be scored by highlighting all the jobs that such a bailout would safeguard. Subsidies are now in fashion, as evidenced by the Chips Act. Seeing as the administration is already on a borrowing bonanza (government debt going up by $1T per 100 days), why not notch up a few tens of billions extra for Boeing?

            Just a thought.

          • @Vincent

            Many peoples 401K would differ with you.

          • It’s how you present the bailout, that is why I stated a pre-packaged BK.

            No way the WTO or the EU is going to allow a straight bailout of Boeing.

            Which I think, the house cleaning is not finished.

          • 401k should be about LT investment, not short-term bubble and burst.

          • $10 billion for NB development?

            According to Calhoun, development of a new airplane “could cost upwards of $50 billion”.

          • @Williams

            VW has $200 billion debt.
            Lol. Do you read financial statements? Like many big automakers, VW has a financial arm which, in addition to provide auto financing/leasing for retail customers, also provide financing to its dealers. Such financing is backed by assets (i.e. VW/Audi/Porsche vehicles). VW’s financial arm is no different than GECAS years ago.

    • Wait. I thought everyone wanted a change in culture and management now we don’t?

    • Rates are not going up any more and are expected to slowly coming down. So if they were able to service the debt until now, they should have easier time going forward.

  28. I must have forgotten to hit enter, but I totally agree with what TransWorld has been saying here. The one thing that I would add, is that things are quite dramatically worse than what has been disclosed so far. I suggest that everyone here get on Google Maps and visit BSC, San Antonio (Kelley AFB), Renton, Plant II and Boeing Field (both sides of Marginal Way), Paine Field, and most unbelievably, Moses Lake. Go to satellite view, and check the dates. They are all 2024 dates. Then start counting planes. Oh, now on the MX, about the best deal anyone can get on an engine is around $10 million. Take you plane count and multiply it by that. At the very least, Boeing is paying compensation for those engines, not to mention the planes. You are staring a billions and billions in inventory.

    • Various commenters here are forgetting the costs side of the equation.
      You can have all the inventory in the world, but it’s not going to help you unless you can make a profit on it. The “billions and billions” to which you’re referring is potential *revenue*, not *earnings*; and, as you point out, it’s currently a form of liability, because of the associated storage, re-work and compensation costs.

      Boeing hasn’t had any earnings in 5 years, and it’s not going to have any in 2024 either. Even its EBIT (before interest payments) has been negative or just barely positive. In other words, it has zero margin on its inventory. Unfortunately for Boeing, “billions and billions” times zero is still zero. And zero just doesn’t cut it when you’re drowning in debt and debt servicing costs — particularly when approaching debt rollovers are going to incur much higher interest rates.

      As regards the feelgood sentiment expressed by various commenters: merely *wishing* that things will improve for Boeing doesn’t mean that such improvement is actually achievable.

  29. Viewed from a different angle: as an accountant, Ms. Pope is a good choice of CEO if her tenure is going to involve steering Boeing through Chapter 11 and/or overseeing the breakup of the company.

    Such scenarios are becoming increasingly likely, in view of the financial, engineering, regulatory, legal and reputational abyss in which the company continues to languish.

  30. “Boeing’s new CEO must be ‘strong engineering lead’, Emirates boss says”

    “Boeing needs a “strong engineering lead” at the helm after chief executive Dave Calhoun steps down, but “only time will tell” if management changes will resolve the problems facing the US plane maker, Emirates airline’s president has said.”

    “The US company also needs to establish a governance model that prioritises safety and quality, Tim Clark, an aviation industry veteran, told The National.”

    ““It is little wonder that the machinists union wants a seat on the board, simply to ensure that the voice of the factory floor is part and parcel of the decision process and is fully integrated into the governance model’s risk-management strategies,” Mr Clark said.”

    ““Whether, yet again, this changing of the guard will resolve Boeing’s issues, only time will tell, but time, unfortunately, is not on their side.””.


  31. https://www.cnbc.com/2024/03/26/boeing-ceo-who-could-replace-calhoun.html

    Executives at Boeing’s customers told CNBC they want the company’s new leader to have manufacturing acumen, expertise in the highly regulated and technical world of aviation, and, perhaps most difficult of all, the ability to rally Boeing’s employees and ensure a culture of safety, consistency and innovation.

    “This is going to be a challenging role to fill. You’re going to need someone with a huge amount of energy and commitment,” said John Plueger, CEO of Air Lease
    , a major buyer of Boeing planes that leases them to airlines. “You don’t want somebody for two years. You want someone at the head of the ship for as long as possible.”

    The next boss at Boeing will have to contend not just with the company’s internal struggles but lost market share to rival Airbus
    . Meanwhile, China has been pushing ahead with building its own commercial aircraft.

    “I want somebody who knows how to handle a big, long-cycled business like ours,” Calhoun told CNBC in an interview Monday while announcing his departure. “It’s not just the production of the airplane. It’s the development of the next airplane. Our next lead is going to develop … the next airplane for the Boeing company.”

    Financial analysts applauded the amount of time Boeing is giving itself to find Calhoun’s replacement. Four-year Boeing board member Steve Mollenkopf, an ex-Qualcomm CEO who will take over as independent chairman of the board, will lead the search.

    “It provides leadership continuity, which a knee-jerk change would not, and CEO Dave Calhoun clearly is on board with the need to bolster safety,” said TD Cowen analyst Cai von Rumohr, in a note Monday.

    While Boeing didn’t comment on its top candidates, here’s who some aviation experts say could potentially lead Boeing:

  32. Larry Culp

    General Electric
    CEO Larry Culp is “probably at the top of the list for a Boeing CEO,” said Richard Aboulafia, managing director at Aerodynamic Advisory, an aviation consulting firm.

    Culp is set to head the aviation unit of GE that is about to spin off, a company that makes and overhauls engines that power both Boeing and rival Airbus
    planes. Culp has led a turnaround for the conglomerate and oversaw the split of the company.

    “The relationship with Boeing has never been stronger,” Culp told reporters earlier this month at an investor event. “Clearly, 2024 hasn’t played out the way they would have liked let alone the way we would have liked. We’re trying to support them in every possible way.”

    But Culp is focusing on GE’s aerospace unit as a stand-alone company, a GE spokesperson said in response to questions about a potential future for him at Boeing.

    Pat Shanahan

    Pat Shanahan, the interim CEO of Spirit AeroSystems
    , is another possibility, Aboulafia said.

    A three-decade Boeing veteran, Shanahan was appointed last October to head the Boeing supplier, which makes fuselages for the company’s 737 Max and other parts, as Spirit dealt with its own quality problems that have spilled over to Boeing.

    Boeing is in talks to buy Spirit, bringing the fuselage manufacturer back in house after spinning it off almost two decades ago. A reunion could naturally slot Shanahan in as chief executive of the merged company.

    “Mr. Shanahan remains solely focused on driving a zero-defects culture across all aspects of Spirit AeroSystems,” Spirit spokesman Joe Buccino told CNBC Monday.

    David Gitlin

    Aboulafia also mentioned Carrier
    CEO and chairman David Gitlin, who serves on Boeing’s board.

    Gitlin has experience in aviation, previously working as president and chief operating officer at Collins Aerospace. Aviation experts have said said someone with a strong background in manufacturing and operations would be needed.

    Stephanie Pope

    Stephanie Pope, who was recently promoted to chief operating officer after serving as head of Boeing’s Global Services unit, is the most obvious internal option to succeed Calhoun. (Former Boeing CFO Greg Smith retired from the company in 2021. He was also seen as a possible successor.)

    But Pope will take over from Stan Deal, who is retiring from his post as head of Boeing’s commercial airplane division, the company said Monday. And one aviation executive questioned why Boeing wouldn’t have announced her appointment on Monday if she were the choice.

    The “management changes are geared to institutionalize a priority on safety throughout the company by bringing in new blood,” TD Cowen’s von Rumohr wrote.

  33. You were close Scott, the one surprise out of the CNBC story is Larry Culp from GE. Oh the irony.

  34. For the sake of variety….on the other side of the pond

    China’s COMAC wide-body C929 jet in ‘detailed design stage’, official says

    SEOUL/BEIJING, March 26 (Reuters) – Chinese state-owned planemaker COMAC’s first wide-body jet is in its “detailed design stage”, an executive said on Tuesday, following a report from the jet’s fuselage manufacturer aiming to deliver the first fuselage section by September 2027.

    • Indeed.
      Now, just wait for the jeering to start, along the lines of “that’s just Chinese PR”.

      We were similarly told that the Chinese were dependent on the US, Europe, Japan, Korea and Taiwan for semiconductors — and, yet, SMIC is now manufacturing 7nm chips and SMEE has developed a 28nm litho tool — both of which are Chinese semiconductor companies.
      Just yesterday, China announced that goverment bodies will no longer be purchasing chips from Intel or AMD.

      We won’t mention high-speed trains.

      Any updates on the status of the Chinese CJ-1000 turbofan?

      • Comac had a prototype section of the C929 composite fuselage section completed back in 2018

        How monumental is China’s challenge to build its own jet engine for the C919 as it seeks aviation self-reliance?
        “In the long term, competition between China and the US in advanced technology is likely to play a significant part in Beijing’s quest to reach aerospace self-reliance.”

      • SMIC and 7nm is only in limited numbers and using a work around in ‘multi-patterning’ using lithography acquired before the ban.
        The world has moved on , 4nm chips are about to enter mass production with Samsung and TMSC

        • Nothing to worry about from China, then. 😉

          Where have I heard this kind of minimizing before?
          Oh yeah- back when we were informed that Airbus
          was no threat at all to Boing, that’s when.
          How’d that one work out?

        • There’s enough 7nm chips to erode Apple iPhone’s marketshare, with iPhone shipments in China fell 39% and 33% in Jan & Feb respectively.

  35. Ask yourself whether Comac has the expertise both in the design and production side and within the regulatory side to develop an SSA that will pass FAA muster? As of today, if it is difficult for Boeing it will be impossible for Comac. Manufacturing is the easy part.

    • Why would COMAC require FAA muster?
      It can sell its products to 95% of the world population outside the US.
      Indonesia and Vietnam greenlighted the C919 without caring what the FAA or EASA think on the matter.
      As soon as the CJ-1000 engine is up and running, COMAC can just “do its thing” in China’s huge basket of befriended countries.
      The world has changed.

      • Ah yes, the BRICS nations will take over the world notion………..We will see, as soon they stop trading in Dollars.

        BYD has shown the Chinese learn very quickly, though their QC in certain segments remains suspect.

        • The BRICS block already has a larger combined GDP than the G7.

          Boeing has shown that the US has QC problems.

          Once again: the world has changed.

          • CBDCs are coming, as well- not that I’m at all in favor of digital currency. A lessening of USD dependence
            is likely in store.

          • Saudi Arabia, UAE, Ethiopia, Iran, Egypt confirmed they are joining BRICS

            What’s next?
            34 Countries Look to Join BRICS Alliance

        • I wonder how that will wash with the Brazilian aviation authorities, having to jump through the same hoops to get their Embraer aircraft certified to FAA/EASA standards?

    • As a cert authority of international value the FAA is done IMHO.
      Boeing has done a rather thorough job there.

      In line: the “AIRBUS: rethink your belly tank design” entanglements appear as leveling the table ops AFAICS.
      I question their utility in respect to safety improvements.

  36. When Indigo orders 600 COMACs , then they will have my attention.

  37. I find the side-show going on at the FAA to be interesting also. Since they have to be seen to be doing something – anything – they now bang on UAL! Will the nonsense ever stop?

  38. […] “There is a strata at the top that’s in denial,” a top executive at a U.S. airline that flies hundreds of Boeing airplanes told TAC earlier this year. “I can’t tell them the emperor has no clothes.”

    It is Boeing’s customers who, second only to the Federal Aviation Administration, have been pushing the hardest for strategic change at the aerospace giant. They have urged the company to retake the reins at Spirit AeroSystems, bringing that critical supplier back into the fold to rethink how it achieves stability in its overall industrial operation.


    “In the end it was the CEOs of United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines who ultimately catalyzed a change in leadership in the c-suite.”

  39. Bloomberg: “Boeing At Risk of Moody’s Downgrade on Cash Flow Concerns”

    “The ratings provider placed Boeing’s Baa2 senior unsecured rating on review for downgrade from stable, according to a statement on Tuesday, citing the potential for Boeing to fail to deliver 737 aircraft at the volumes needed to materially expand free cash flow and “retire debt in a reasonable timeframe.””

    “Boeing entered 2024 with almost $16 billion in cash plus short-term investments and managed to retire $4.4 billion worth of debt through early March, according to Moody’s. Still, cash will fall “well below” $10 billion by the end of this month, according to Moody’s Senior Vice President Jonathan Root.”


    • Boeing has $5,128 m due in months, $4,581 m due in 2025, another $7,983 m due in 2026.
      Q: does West’s cash flow projection including debt repayment?

      Moody forecasts BA to deliver less than 380 737 and less than 100 787 this year.

      • I don’t think West has a clue what he’s saying.
        He wants to take on extra debt to buy Spirit…that’s going to work out well 👀

  40. Let me add one more small bit of what is data to me. Others may think it is just my point of view, but it is from first hand experience.

    I’ve seem Pat Shanahan up close. He is smart, perhaps even brilliant as an engineer. He sees things sometimes others do not. That said, he is a schoolyard bully and exactly the opposite of what Boeing needs in terms of modelling the leadership changes that are needed. I once witnessed Kerry Cruze try to help him understand the issue, but Kerry was wasting his breath on Pat.

    Also, reversing Project Lloyd (the sale of the commercial side of the Wichita division, which was named for Lloyd Stearman) is just dumb. The problem on the 737 program when it comes to suppliers is a failure to manage the virtual enterprise. But within the current boundaries of the company, things are still managed in silos within programs, which is the same thing. It leads to optimization of pieces while ignoring the whole, which ends up grossly out of any sense of synchronization or flow. Spirit, if it was well managed, which it is not, could get much better asset utilization, and be more profitable outside of Boeing than inside, and still be a great participant in the virtual enterprise of the 737 program. Again, the problem is a complete lack of process competency throughout the program, regardless of which company some manager’s badge says he/she is a part of.

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