People article(s)
January 15, 2020

David L Calhoun has assumed the role of president and chief executive officer of The Boeing Company last January 13 with the new leadership focused on safety culture, improved transparency and rebuilding of trust to the company.


In a statement, the American planemaker said Calhoun is the "right leader" to help Boeing turn around from the difficult times it has encountered since 2018.


Prior to this appointment, Calhoun, 62, has served in various senior leadership roles within several large-scale enterprises including at the Blackstone Group, Nielsen Holdings and GE.


During his 26-year tenure at GE, he led multiple business units including GE Transportation and GE Aircraft Engines where safety was paramount. He has also served on the Boeing Board of Directors since 2009 and served as chairman from October 11 to December 22, 2019.


"With deep industry experience and a proven track record of performance, Dave is the right leader to navigate Boeing through this challenging time in our 104-year legacy," said Lawrence W. Kellner, chairman of the Boeing Board of Directors.


"We're confident Dave will take Boeing forward with an intense focus on our values, including safety, quality and integrity." 


Focus on rebuilding trust

Meanwhile, Calhoun said the main focus is rebuilding the stakeholder's trust.


"Working together, we will strengthen our safety culture, improve transparency and rebuild trust with our customers, regulators, suppliers and the flying public," said Calhoun.


"With the strength of our team, I'm confident in the future of Boeing, including the 737 MAX."

In a separate email to Boeing employees, Calhoun called for unity within Boeing "to change our company for the better."


"It’s an honor to join this team and to help shape Boeing’s future with you. This company has a tremendous legacy of aerospace achievement, thanks to your efforts and the contributions of generations before you ... I also recognize the learnings – many of them painful – from the experiences of the last 18 months that you are bringing to the way we do business," Calhoun said on a January 13 correspondence. 

"This is a crucial time for Boeing. We have work to do to uphold our values and to build on our strengths. I see greatness in this company, but I also see opportunities to be better. Much better. That includes engaging one another and our stakeholders with greater transparency, holding ourselves accountable to the highest standards of safety and quality, and incorporating outside-in perspective on what we do and how we do it," he added.


Priorities outlined for 2020

One of the main priority of Boeing this year is to return the 737 MAX to service safely ⁠— following the lead of regulators and working with them "to ensure they’re satisfied completely with the airplane and our work."


He also noted the focus on rebuild trust, focusing on the company's values, operating with excellence, maintaining the production health, and investing in technology for the future. 


"Our markets are growing, customer demand is evolving, the competition is increasing and technology is advancing at a pace we’ve never seen before. Boeing must keep innovating to succeed. We’ll continue to invest in our global workforce and new processes and technologies that will help us become safer and more efficient as we define the future of aerospace," he added.


This initiative includes preparing for the first CST-100 Starliner crewed mission, first flights of the 777X and 737 MAX 10, further growth of its Global Services business and finalization of our Embraer partnership.


"This is our path forward, and I’m excited to be part of it with you. My sleeves are rolled up. I know yours are, too," Calhoun added.


Meanwhile, Greg Smith, who was interim CEO will return to the role of Boeing chief financial officer and executive vice president of Enterprise Performance & Strategy.

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