Boeing fires the head of its 737 Max program after shocking mid-air explosion

Ed Clark will be replaced by Katie Ringgold who is currently the vice president of 737 delivery operations.

Boeing, the multinational company that manufactures aircraft, fired Ed Clark, director of the 737 Max program, after a critical incident involving one of its planes forced more than a hundred aircraft to be grounded for several weeks.

Stan Deal, the head of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, sent a memo to his staff on Wednesday announcing that Ed Clark, who has led the Max program since 2021, will be replaced by Katie Ringgold. Ringgold currently serves as vice president of 737 delivery operations.

Clark "departs with my, and our, deepest gratitude for his many significant contributions over nearly 18 years of dedicated service to Boeing," Deal said. He claims the changes are part of his "enhanced focus on ensuring that every airplane we deliver meets or exceeds all quality and safety requirements."

The decision to replace Ed Clark comes more than a month after a door plug exploded shortly after takeoff on a Boeing 737 Max 9. The aircraft was operated by Alaska Airlines, and the explosion left a hole in the plane.

This led to a temporary, nationwide suspension of more than 170 Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft, resulting in million-dollar losses for airlines.

According to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board, four key bolts were found to be missing from the door plug that detached from the plane. The incident raised concerns about the quality and safety of Boeing 737 Max aircraft.

Since then, the company has tried to reassure its customers and regain the general public's trust. However, the company still faces serious challenges.

Meeting with the Federal Aviation Administration

Dave Calhoun, CEO of Boeing, reported that, as part of his efforts to restore the confidence of airlines and regulators, he will also meet with the head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Mike Whitaker. The meeting is scheduled for next week.