Boeing Fires The Chief Of Its Troubled 737 Max Program

( — Boeing announced on Wednesday that, as part of an executive shake-up, the head of Boeing’s 737 program would be leaving immediately, the Associated Press reported.

Ed Clark, the vice president and general manager of Boeing’s 737 program since early 2021, was leaving Boeing “effectively immediately” after nearly 18 years, the company said.

Boeing has been under intense scrutiny following the January 5 incident when the emergency door panel of an Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9 blew off shortly after taking off from Portland.

Clark oversaw the Renton, Washington, factory where the final assembly of the Alaska Airlines aircraft took place.

According to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board, the four bolts required to keep the door panel in place were missing following repair work before the plane took off in Portland.

In an email to employees from Boeing’s commercial airplane division chief Stan Deal, Clark will be replaced by Katie Ringgold.

Ringgold formerly served as Boeing’s vice president in charge of delivering 737s to airlines.

In addition to Ringgold replacing Clark, Boeing also announced several other executive shake-ups, including appointing longtime Boeing executive Elizabeth Lund to a new position, senior vice president for commercial airplane quality.

Deal said the changes were part of Boeing’s effort to ensure that the planes delivered by the company meet or exceed “all quality and safety requirements.”

The January 5 blowout incident prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to ground all 737 Max planes in the United States so the emergency door panels on each could be inspected.

In testimony before the House Transportation Subcommittee on Aviation earlier this month, FAA Administration Michael Whitaker said that in its rush to build more planes to meet the airlines’ demands, Boeing had not paid enough attention to safety.

Whitaker said that after the Alaska Airlines incident in January, the FAA would not only need to determine what was wrong with the 737 Max planes but also what was “going on with the production at Boeing.” He said the problems Boeing has had in the past “don’t seem to be getting resolved” and suggested a “heightened level of oversight” from the FAA was required.

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