Boeing’s Safety Crisis: Shareholders File Lawsuit, Top Executive Ousted

Boeing has announced the departure of an 18-year executive at the company after a lawsuit claimed that “safety was no longer a subject of board discussion.”

Leadership Changes at Boeing

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Boeing, the aerospace giant undergoing a major safety crisis, has recently announced a series of leadership changes, including Executive Ed Clark’s ousting.

Executive Departure Lounge

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Ed Clark, the Boeing executive responsible for overseeing the troubled 737 Max program, has departed from the company in the wake of the panel that blew out from an Alaskan Airlines plane mid-flight.

Door Plug Panel Incident

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At the end of 2023, a door plug panel from a 737 Max 9 aircraft operated by Alaska Airlines blew off during a flight, further exacerbating concerns about the safety and quality of Boeing aircraft.

Alaska Airlines Problems

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The National Transportation Safety Board discovered the absence of four key bolts on the new jet when it was released from the same factory that Clark was overseeing.

Echoes of Fatal Crashes

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Although no one was harmed and the plane made a safe landing, the issue with the 737 Max 9 aircraft echoed the two fatal crashes just a few years before the incident.

Families Torn Apart

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In 2018 and 2019, two fatal crashes that killed 346 people brought Boeing into the spotlight of criticism, as hundreds of bereaved families were torn apart.

Grounded Until Further Notice

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As a result, all Boeing 737 Max aircraft were grounded until further notice for safety inspection, only to be allowed back into the skies shortly after.

Shareholders Demand Lawsuit

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After the panel incident, shareholders in the company filed a lawsuit against the Boeing board of directors for neglecting safety, with many publicly speaking out against what the company’s culture had turned into.

Lawsuit’s Statement

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According to the lawsuit, “Safety was no longer a subject of Board discussion,” as they focused instead on finances and production quantity.

Safety off the Table

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“There was no mechanism within Boeing by which safety concerns respecting the 737 MAX were elevated to the Board or to any Board committee,” the lawsuit stated.

Clark’s Nearly 18-Year Stint at Boeing

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Ed Clark will no longer work at Boeing after 18 years at the company, despite playing a crucial role in increasing 737 production post-Covid-19.

Clark’s Role in Renton, Washington

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Ed Clark was in charge of the 737 Max program and supervised Boeing’s factory in Renton, Washington, which produced the aircraft that saw its panel blow out mid-flight.

CEO’s Memo to Staff

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Stan Deal, the CEO of Boeing’s commercial airplanes division, officially announced Ed Clark’s departure in a memo to the company’s staff. Deal expressed gratitude for Clark’s nearly 18 years of service to Boeing.

Deal’s Memo Sends “Deepest Gratitude”

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“My, and our, deepest gratitude for his many significant contributions over nearly 18 years of dedicated service to Boeing,” Deal said in the memo.

Katie Ringgold Named Clark’s Successor

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Katie Ringgold has been named as Ed Clark’s successor, taking on the role of vice president and general manager of the 737 program and the Renton, Washington plant.

Elizabeth Lund Appointed Senior Vice President of Quality

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Elizabeth Lund is set to assume the position of senior vice president of quality at Boeing, a role that has only just been created to ensure improved safety control standards after continuous backlash and lawsuits.

Lund to Spearhead Safety Revolution

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According to Deal, Lund “will lead our quality control and quality assurance efforts, as well as the quality initiatives we recently announced.”

Boeing Investigated Once More

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An investigation into the safety of the Boeing 737 Max insisted that “This won’t be back to business as usual for Boeing,” after rounding the jet “hours” after the incident occurred.

No Further Production

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The report claimed it would refuse any applications for further production of the aircraft until they are “satisfied that the quality control issues uncovered during this process are resolved.”

More Executives To Step Down?

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Ed Clarke is only the first executive from Boeing to step down after the panel incident, but it’s reported that many others face pressure as the company looks to reinstate its old safety culture.


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