Top US airline CEOs' pressure on Boeing to fix its problems led to the management shakeup

In a great example of customer leverage being put into action, the CEOS of United, Southwest and American airlines demanded a meeting with Boeing directors without Calhoun present to push them to fix Boeing

‘Last week, a group of U.S. airline CEOs sought meetings with Boeing directors without Calhoun to express concern over the Alaska Airlines accident, saying it was an unusual sign of frustration with the manufacturer’s problems and Calhoun.’

Unfortunately, this article cites some opinions out there that ex-Boeing executive and Spirit AeroSystems CEO Patrick Shanahan is a possible successor to Calhoun.

This is the same Spirit AeroSystems which apparently had no documentation for the work done on the door plug that blew out on Alaska Airlines’ flight



What is really needed is a world wide boycott of Boeing flights.

What is needed is for customers to instill panic in the industry.

Will not happen.

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Classic case of ‘too big to fail’

It’s only at these critical junctures that we discover the real costs of living with what’s effectively a Hobson’s choice

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Patrick Shanahan is an engineer. Spent 30 years at Boeing, before being one of 45’s DoD honchos. Then went to Spirit.

Interestingly, Boeing is reportedly trying to buy Spirit back. iirc, Spirit is the former Boeing Wichita division. Recall, in the recent audit report, Spirit’s QC was even worse than Boeing’s. Apparently Shanahan’s engineering background takes a back seat to Welchist corner cutting.

Spirit AeroSystems Buy Back “Best” For Boeing Safety & Quality, CFO

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Perhaps this choice is the (almost) perfect match then to meet both management’s needs and clients‘ demand:

The chief of Emirates, one of Boeing’s largest clients, has said the crisis-stricken US aircraft maker should ensure its new chief executive has engineering experience to restore safety standards.

A day after Boeing chief executive Dave Calhoun announced he would step down, Sir Tim Clark also said he backed efforts by the US group’s largest labour union to win a seat on the board. “To fix Boeing’s issues the company needs a strong engineering lead as its head coupled to a governance model which prioritises safety and quality,” Clark told the Financial Times on Tuesday. “Some serious lateral thinking” was needed, the airline boss added.


Putting an Engineer CEO in charge now, after the corporate culture and workface have already long shifted to “whatever you can probably get away with,” is like closing the barn door after a blizzard froze and buried any animals so silly as to not already have left. Or something like that.

I would push for rather fierce, even forensic, inspections of all Boeing aircraft of recent years done at Boeing’s expense so as to reassure passengers. Next month I am flying via multiple legs from Mexico to Mallorca and then back, and I will not set foot in a Boeing craft.

My three deceased relatives who worked at Boeing got away in time and died proud.

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Hi steve - thanks for your response
The lack of quality assurance/control at Spirit on Shanahan’s watch underscores the sad fact that while ‘engineer’ may be a desirable qualification for a CEO of such technically oriented businesses, it is by no means an assurance of safety and quality.

Just as a '‘physician’ or ‘surgeon’ label doesn’t assure you of quality and safety at a healthcare company, or ‘CPA’ at an audit firm

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