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Boeing CEO appears before the Senate and affirms that he will not resign despite the "gravity" of the situation

Dave Calhoun spoke before the commission to respond to the various incidents that several of his planes have recorded in recent months.

El CEO de Boeing, Dave Calhaun, durante su comparecencia en el Senado el pasado 18 de junio de 2024.

(Samuel Corum / AFP)

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The CEO of Boeing appeared before the Senate this Tuesday and stated that he will not resign despite the "gravity" of the situation. Dave Calhoun, who in March stated that he will leave the company at the end of this year, spoke before the commission to respond to the different incidents that have registered several of their planes in recent months and that derive from the quality assurance issues in the production of these planes.

During his appearance, Calhoun did maintain that he plans to leave the company at the end of this year, although a successor has not yet been named for his position. However, what truly worried the senators was not whether or not the CEO was resigning from his position, but rather the countless security problems that have come to light at the company. This was stated by Richard Blumenthal, Democratic senator from Connecticut, in statements reported by NBC News:

This past January, the facade quite literally blew off the hollow shell that had been Boeing’s promises to the world. And once that chasm was exposed, we learned that there was virtually no bottom to the void that lay below.

Blumenthal said that "more than a dozen" whistleblowers came forward and asked Boeing workers concerned about safety at the company to contact his office and file their complaints. "Boeing needs to stop thinking about the next earnings call and start thinking about the next generation," he said.

Boeing's safety protocols, the real reason for the Senate's concern

Given this, Calhoun defended himself by ensuring that he did not "recognize any of the Boeing you describe" while also acknowledging that the airline needs to improve its safety systems. "Our culture is far from perfect but we are taking action, and we are making progress."

A culture that, Blumenthal assured at the hearing, was very deficient since it did not care about the safety of its customers or its employees but rather about the company's profits:

This is a culture that continues to prioritize profits, push limits and disregard its workers. A culture that enables retaliation against those who do not submit to the bottom line. A culture that desperately needs to be repaired.

Affected families call for Calhoun to be tried criminally

When David Calhoun's appearance ended, the Boing CEO had to face the relatives of the victims who died in one of the 737 Max accidents. They held photographs of their loved ones and showed their anger at the executive.

Clariss Moore was one of them. The mother of Danielle Moore, who died in a plane crash in Ethiopia in 2019, scolded Calhoun: "How could you?" And her indignation did not end there. The woman spoke to CNN assuring that the manager's apology was not enough and that he and other Boeing executives should be criminally prosecuted: "What is justice? What is accountability? They should be in jail," she said.

The same complaint was made by other family members who, in turn, also complained about Calhoun's salary, which amounts to $32.8 million a year. A figure that seems exorbitant to them: "Is that the cost of my daughter's life?" Clariss Moore asked herself.