Boeing Parts Ways with Top Manager

Boeing Parts Ways with Top Manager

In a significant development, Boeing’s 737 Max program is witnessing a leadership transition, which has been triggered by a major incident involving one of their aircrafts. The top manager who was formerly in charge of this program, Ed Clark, is stepping down from his role and parting ways with the company, as announced by Boeing on Wednesday. Katie Ringgold, who has been handling responsibilities related to deliveries, is set to take his place as the successor.

To provide some context, at the start of January, a major incident took place involving a virtually brand-new 737-9 Max from the US airline, Alaska Airlines. During the climb after take-off, a fragment of the fuselage located in seat row 26 broke off. The aircraft was carrying more than 170 passengers at the time. It should be noted that in some configurations of the more seat type, there is a door present.

The 737-9 Max variant that was involved in the incident, however, is equipped with a cover that is meant to close the opening. While no one was seriously injured in the incident, the fact that the two seats directly beside the opening were unoccupied was a fortunate coincidence.

Boeing faces increased scrutiny following the incident

The incident sparked an investigation by the US accident investigation authority, NTSB, which lasted several weeks. Preliminary findings suggest that fastening bolts were missing from the fragment that broke off. In addition to this, Ringgold will also take over the responsibility for managing the Renton factory from Clark. This is the location where the aircrafts are assembled. This incident has placed significant pressure on Boeing, compelling them to enhance their quality controls swiftly.

In response to this, Boeing is introducing a new role within the top management of the commercial aircraft division. Elizabeth Lund has been appointed to oversee quality control within the company as well as among its suppliers. This information was shared by the division boss, Stan Deal, in an email communication to the employees. It should be noted that the fuselage of the 737 Max models is primarily constructed by the supplier Spirit Aerosystems.

Following the incident, the US aviation regulator, FAA, has put a halt to Boeing’s plans for expanding the production of the 737 Max aircraft until further notifications. This is a significant setback for the company as it needs to process the orders in the pipeline. As a result of this, airlines are bracing themselves for extended waiting times.