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Boeing ousts 737 MAX chief in shake-up as blowout fallout mounts

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Boeing has ousted the leader of the 737 MAX program at its Renton plant and reshuffled its leadership team at the Commercial Airplanes division, effective immediately. (www.seattletimes.com) More...

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mbrews
mbrews 27
Not clear whether a mere scapegoat or if we can expect improvements.

The door plug problem may have involved " ship it now - itis ". Comparable to " get-there-itis "
wylann
wylann 10
I suspect a little of scapegoating, and a little bit of actual comeuppance. I suspect if ALL of the parties involved in this boondaggle were sacked, Boeing would be a lot less top heavy for a while.
wd73383
WD Rseven 9
I'm not holding my breath for improvements. Boeing has had plenty of opportunity over the last decade or so but has only gotten worse.
ghstark
Greg S 37
They're just rotating the bald tires. The problem with Boeing is bad ownership; Boeing management is an accurate reflection of the Board's priorities. Until those priorities change Boeing will continue to deteriorate.
mbrews
mbrews 24
I like the comment. But cheap fresh tires don't last long. Boeing lost experienced front-line workers and experienced design staff. (Pre-Covid and post-Covid).

When you try to push high production rates through a low-experience, low-competence workforce,
the results are low quality, errors, and rework.

How about A) Hire back experienced staff as trainers. Fund it by cutting bonuses for the top brass. b) Reduce production rates to match the capability of a low-experience workforce.

Hint : walk around the shop floor and ask random employees how long they've been in that job, and whether they feel they've been adequately trained. I waive the consulting fee :)
Propwash122
Peter Fuller 10
Regarding “reduce production rates to match the capability of a low-experience workforce”: at least the FAA has stepped in with more monitoring and inspection, and by limiting the allowed monthly production rate. FAA should keep these measures in place as long as it takes until the situation stabilizes and they’re confident that QA is functional.

Regarding the management changes: they seem like rearranging the name tags on the Titanic’s deck chairs, while the board and the CEO keep steering toward the iceberg.
jgoedker
jgoedker 4
I just have zero confidence in the FAA. They have no more experience in these matters than Boeing or Airbus. This is an industry wide problem, not just Boeing. Right at this time there are more A320s grounded than Boeings. Engine manufacturers are putting out more unproven technology in the name of power and efficiency. The uncontained Rolls Royce engine failure that but for the grace of God nearly took out a A380 has been forgotten. Pratt is operating at breakneck speed to not only fix their grounded engines but continuing to keep pace with Airbus deliveries of new aircraft. And now that very issue has expanded into a totally different engine series, the PT6 used on turboprops.

There are hundreds of examples of software issues in the automated flight systems that have brought down numerous aircraft, but the world seems to believe it's exclusively a Boeing issue. You cannot fix every possible issue with software.

The FAA cannot find staffing for controllers. A severe shortage of qualified mechanics. Over capacity airport slots. The so called supply chain issues which are more than likley caused by the same lack of quality workers. The FAA just put out an advisory to warn flight crews to beware of false GPS signals. They should rely on good old-fashioned technology. I could go on and on.

But, the airlines continue to order thousands more aircraft and add more and more flights. All in a system that has been overworked for decades. And they want them fast and cheap. Oh, by the way, they want them to fly on less fuel so they can maintain their profits with cheap tickets.

AS I said many times, those four bolts are the least of aviations problems. And I will guarantee you that the FAA or EASA don't have all the answers. More likely no answers. It's time to slow the entire industry down.
lorgem1
Stephen Morrison 1
By far one of the best posts I have read on this site - you GET IT!
jgoedker
jgoedker 6
Strange to me how so many blame Boeings production rates on the root cause when it's competitor Airbus is pushing just as hard, if not more to increase production. Hell, they brag about it. In the interest of safety, perhaps Airbus should share their management skills and know-how with Boeing. Or, if the FAA has all the answers, where were they prior to the problems. They're just a reactionary group that really have no answers. It's CYA to the Nth degree.

As for your hint. Beleive me, you ask any union member/employee for their opinion, (and that's all you'll get) you will hear much more than you want or need to hear. Boeing is just an indication of our dysfunctional society in general and it's not confined to the USA. If anybody thinks there are simple answers, they are just kidding themselves. The answers will not be found on the assembly floor, in the boardroom, or in the FAA offices. Until society can get off the bandwagon for personal enrichment and selfishness at all levels, develop a normal level of personal pride in their work, things will not improve. Boeing will sooner or later fall out of the news to be replaced with the next crisis. Who's next in the barrel is yet to be seen, but this industry has far more important safety issues to tackle than a few missing bolts. And it's not confined to Seattle.
ekfd16c3
Carl Richter 12
I don't know if jgoedker is old enough to remember the MBO movement. (Management by objective.) It was a failure. I was a MBWA manager. (Management by walking around.) I was highly successful because you see and hear what needs to be done. Your employees will tell you.
sunomi
jordan keck 4
I was the CEO of a medium size company and couldn't agree more with Carl. Walk your company every day, treat your employees in a friendly and fair manner, and they will reward you with telling what is wrong with the company.
jgoedker
jgoedker 1
I'm old enough to remember if anybody on this site is. First ten years as a maintenance mechanic in a large paper plant and most of that time a union steward or local VP. Twenty-five years of management 15 of which were for a major airline, followed by ten years of operating a aircraft repair shop. In the airline world, and most others also, your MBWA would fall under a lead position. Usually by union contract they are paid well for the responsibilities.

Managers are more budget and staffing than hands on. At our airline weekly staff meetings with the line mechanics (and others) were a required function for a manager. Employees were free to voice their concerns and recommendations and always accepted and rewarded when appropriate.

All of these posts claiming to have the answers obviously lack any experience at all with the subject. I've worked on both sides of the fence and I have a pretty good idea of the mindset of both. I can say 99% of these comments haven't a clue. And Carl's simplistic acronymic idea of managment a large corporation just sounds like something out of college credit. There's a little more to it than that.
ekfd16c3
Carl Richter 3
I became vice president of that particular company and had many higher responsibilities over and above line mechanics. You have to communicate (both ways) to be really effective. From line workers to divisional VPs. Walk around and look and listen to what is going on around you. I never went to college. That is probably why I was successful.
ltullos
Larry Tullos 4
Recall that this particular issue was caused by Spirit (though there are many other quality problems other programs that were directly caused by Boeing). The fact that Spirit has a permanent workforce in Renton simply to rework and clean-up their s@%$ work is a glaring indictment. Any knowledgeable Quality professional knows that re-work only produces more rework, and there is no better solution than halting production to find and fix the root cause. This is something that CFOs and bean counters running a company never know or believe, mostly because they only see the immediate costs and not the hidden ones (which in a case like this will dwarf the ones they see and measure.

If the Boeing and Spirit management response to this crisis is to hold "quality meetings" with their workers and start putting up posters, and they don't change themselves; we'll know they're doomed!
rwoollams
Boeing is owned by shareholders. It is publicly traded and has a very broad shareholder base. Which shareholders do you want to replace?
HeissZephyr
HeissZephyr 24
Not enough. Calhoun must go.
john181818
John Steiner 10
They replace an engineer with a beancounter. That is so Boeing.
islandguy007
Paul Ethier 8
Think I have seen this before... moving deck chairs on the Titanic I believe !
tnbriggs
Terry Briggs 8
None of us can know whether Mr. Clark is truly to blame for this, but isn't it likely that he was, as those guilty of malfeasance in times past used to say "... merely following orders..."? Isn't the real problem here that of Boeing's upper management and its board, who seem to only care about the bottom line?

Seems to me a simple "red tag" approach could have prevented this from happening. A defect in production is flagged with a physical, red tag which isn't removed until an inspector has vefired the defect was properly addressed and has replaced it with a green one. Then it's good to go.
HarrySchluderberg
Ousting Ed Clark is a cheap face saving maneuver to save face when it’s the entire top floor at Boeing that should be “ousted”.
JimHerman
Jim Herman 7
Boeing started going downhill when McDonnell Douglas bought Boeing with Boeing's money. This they called a merger.
LeanderWilliams
One word..... SCAPEGOAT.
BillOverdue
Bill Overdue 11
When catastrophic events occur at the rate Boeing is having them, the only way to build back confidence from the general public, is 'heads" gotta roll! Lots of heads have to roll! This is "a day late and a dollar short".. it's a start, but not enough, not even close! Expect more "catastrophic events" from Boeing in the coming days!
N107Sugar
N107Sugar 4
Remember when we actually believed “if it’s not Boeing, I’m not going?”
raleedy
ALLAN LEEDY 7
Blown out like an unbolted door plug.
FlightNerd
David French 3
His replacement is surely taking on a poisoned chalice.
katbasil
Carole Lalor 3
Boeing needs to put airplane professionals in charge instead of people who don’t have a clue about building an airplane. From top down. More interested in share price and their bonuses than safety. IMHO
Flightdog
Roger Curtiss 2
Even if it is a symbolic gesture it is time to dismiss CEO Calhoun and revamp the Boeing board of directors. A clear message needs to be sent that the company is no longer the paragon of industry that it was for so many decades and that substantial cultural change is needed.
pcaronlpcaron
Phil Caron 3
Diversity shuffle with questionable qualifications for the appointed jobs. Since the Chicago leadership remains intact, these appointees will also surely fail following the next incident.
Propwash122
Peter Fuller 3
Chicago leadership is now Washington leadership, as Boeing has moved its corporate hq to Arlington VA, to be near its defense customers at the Pentagon.
flinr
richard flint 2
Boeing is the next Kmart.
yr2012
matt jensen 1
Sear and Money Ward
mcrossbow24
mcrossbow24 1
Next should be the CEO and COO.
victorbravo77
victorbravo77 1
Good riddance:

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/21/business/boeing-max9-renton.html?unlocked_article_code=1.XU0.SgmH.fs54wKoFVJI_&smid=url-share
cratermoon
Steven Newton 21
"Mr. Clark, a veteran engineer and mechanic, was named head of the Max program, the fifth person to hold that title in three years.".

That was in 2021. That's a seriously troubled program if it changed leaders every six months for three years.
KicksOnRoute66
Roger Anderson 7
Makes me wonder if these managers really tried to make a difference and were just stonewalled by the higher ups. I've seen it in organizations I worked in. The product managers try really hard to make a difference but can't do much because the big bosses don't want to give them the resources, and then they get fired for poor performance.
cratermoon
Steven Newton 4
Those were the years 2018 to 2021, at the time of the two crashes related to MCAS. I consider it almost certain that at least one of the people that had the job tried to make real changes and either got kicked out or gave up voluntarily.
alexa320
alex hidveghy 1
Watch the documentary on Netflix called Downfall. That’s all you need to know…..
flightcan
Adi Rabadi 1
The uppers set the policy for the money and the metrics for bonus payouts. I am sure the # of planes ship per quarter is on the list of metrics.
yr2012
matt jensen 0
Savrifical lamb
Seems like overkill
jeffinsydney
jeff slack 1
you are right but in this case road kill, left dead and bleeding with out stopping
wylann
wylann 2
I'm sure he got his golden parachute and isn't really suffering, sadly.

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