Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun to step down

Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun announced on Monday morning that he is stepping down as CEO at the end of the year. 

Calhoun also shared a letter with employees.

"It has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve Boeing," said Calhoun in a letter to employees. "The eyes of the world are on us, and I know that we will come through this moment a better company. We will remain squarely focused on completing the work we have done together to return our company to stability after the extraordinary challenges of the past five years, with safety and quality at the forefront of everything that we do."

In addition to Calhoun's departure, the company also announced that Board Chair Larry Kellner does not intend to stand for re-election at the upcoming annual shareholder meeting. The board has elected Steve Mollenkopf to succeed Kellner as independent board chair and in this role, Mollenkopf will lead the board's process of selecting Boeing's next CEO.

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun

Dave Calhoun, chief executive officer of Boeing Co., speaks during a panel session at the Qatar Economic Forum (QEF) in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday, May 23, 2023. The third Qatar Economic Forum will shine a light on the rising south-to-south economy and (Christopher Pike/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal will retire from the company and Stephanie Pope has been appointed to lead BCA, effective Monday. 

Boeing has been under intense pressure since early January, when a panel blew off a brand-new Alaska Airlines 737 Max. Investigators say bolts that help keep the panel in place were missing after repair work at the Boeing factory.

The Federal Aviation Administration has stepped up its scrutiny of the company, including putting a limit on production of 737s. An FAA audit of Boeing's 737 factory near Seattle gave the company failing grades on nearly three dozen aspects of production.

Airline executives have expressed their frustration with the company, and even seemingly minor incidents involving Boeing jets have attracted extra attention.

Fallout from the Jan. 5 blowout has raised scrutiny of Boeing to its highest level since two Boeing 737 Max jets crashed in 2018 in Indonesia and 2019 in Ethiopia. In all, the crashes killed 346 people.

In a note Monday to employees, Calhoun, 67, called the accident "a watershed moment for Boeing." that requires "a total commitment to safety and quality at every level of our company."

"The eyes of the world are on us, and I know we will come through this moment a better company, building on all the learnings we accumulated as we worked together to rebuild Boeing over the last number of years," he said.

Calhoun indicated that the decision to leave was his.

The company said its board has picked former Qualcomm CEO Steven Mollenkopf to become the new chairman and lead the search for Calhoun's replacement.

Calhoun was a Boeing director when he became CEO in January 2020, replacing Dennis Muilenburg, who was fired in the aftermath of the Max crashes.

Shares of The Boeing Co. rose 2% at the opening bell.

Experts and employees want CEO replacement to ‘know planes’

FOX 13 News spoke to several people close to the industry about who they want to fill the CEO vacancy.

"It’s going to be very interesting to see who comes in to replace Dave Calhoun, and if he’s going to be another [General Electric] Jack Welch disciple, or whether he is going to be an MBA finance disciple, or if he is going to be an aerospace professional who knows how to build airplanes," said Scott Hamilton.

Hamilton is an aviation industry consultant for the Leeham Company. He says the person that Boeing needs to fill the role is an aerospace professional.

He is not the only one who feels this way. 

On Monday, SPEEA IFPTE LOCAL 2001, the union that represents thousands of Boeing engineers, released a statement saying the same thing — that the next CEO should be an aerospace engineer.


"The problems in Boeing’s executive suite are systemic. Nothing, really, is going to change for the better without company leadership acknowledging their failures and thoroughly committing to fixing them," reads a statement from the union.


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The Associated Press contributed to this report.