Boeing loses commercial executive as 737 MAX crisis deepens

Kevin McAllister will leave the company as the planemaker continues to face scrutiny from regulators and clients.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Kevin McAllister addresses empoyees as Boeing celebrates the 10,000th 737 to come off the production line in Renton, Washington, USA
Boeing Company's Kevin McAllister will exit the aviation giant as it continues to grapple to contain a crisis in the wake of two 737 MAX crashes that have left 346 people dead and put on hold Boeing deliveries worth more than $500bn [File: Jason Redmond/Reuters]

Boeing Co. said Kevin McAllister is stepping down as head of its jetliner division amid a crisis engulfing the 737 Max and production snarls with other planes.

Stan Deal, the head of Boeing’s global services business, will replace McAllister, the company said in a statement Tuesday. McAllister is the highest-ranking executive to depart in the wake of two deadly crashes of the Max and a worldwide grounding that began in March.

McAllister’s departure marks the second major management shakeup this month after Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg was stripped of the chairman’s job Oct. 11. Deal will be replaced at Boeing’s services division by Ted Colbert. Vishwa Uddanwadiker was named as Boeing’s interim chief information officer, replacing Colbert.

Boeing climbed 2.3% to $338.79 at 3:25 p.m. in New York.

As the first outsider to run Boeing’s main business, McAllister faced a steep learning curve when he jumped from General Electric Co. in late 2016. The challenge deepened immeasurably when two newly built Max planes crashed within a five-month span between October 2018 and March of this year.

Regulators grounded the jet following the second fatal accident, turning Boeing’s largest source of revenue into a cash drain overnight. Multiple investigations into the design and certification of the jet are underway, and Boeing’s reputation for safety has been battered.

Source: Bloomberg