June 16, 2024

Outgoing Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun

Outgoing Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun
Photo: Aaron Schwartz/NurPhoto (Getty Images)

Boeing shareholders on Friday reelected outgoing CEO Dave Calhoun to the company’s board of directors, beating back an effort to oust him.

Calhoun announced his resignation as CEO earlier this year in the wake of Boeing’s 737 Max crisis. He plans to leave as chief executive at the end of the year. Proxy advisor Glass Lewis had recommended removing him from the board. But at its annual meeting on Friday, shareholders opted to keep Cahoun in place, CNBC reports.

Boeing has been reeling in the wake of a January door plug blowout on an Alaska Airlines-operated 737 Max 9 plane. The resulting scrutiny on the company’s safety and quality standards — from both regulators and the Justice Department — has severely crimped the number of planes it has been able to deliver to customers. Those airlines have been increasingly vocal about their disappointment.

Glass Lewis, which advises institutional shareholders on how they should vote, said in a report last month that clients should vote against Calhoun’s reelection to the board as a way to “strongly signal dissatisfaction” with the plane manufacturer’s woes.

“These key leadership changes may be viewed as an important step in the right direction towards prioritizing and improving a positive safety culture and setting a new tone at the top of the organization,” Glass Lewis said in its report. “Nevertheless, we believe it’s reasonable to assume that the board will understand the implication of shareholders voting against the Company’s outgoing CEO and key directors with oversight of the safety culture and risks; that is, that shareholders will be sending a clear indication of discontent regarding the Company’s recent oversight and handling of safety issues and safety culture.”

Boeing last month delivered its fewest number of planes in two years

The company’s stock was largely flat in Friday afternoon trading. But it’s down almost 27% so far this year, making it one of the worst-performing companies in the S&P 500.

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