Boeing Removes Head of 737 Max Program

Company announces leadership reshuffle amid safety concerns
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2024 2:25 PM CST
Boeing Removes Head of 737 Max Program
This photo released by the National Transportation Safety Board shows a gaping hole where the paneled-over door had been at the fuselage plug area of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, Jan. 7, 2024.   (National Transportation Safety Board via AP, File)

The head of Boeing's troubled 737 Max program has been replaced and is leaving the company, Boeing announced Wednesday. Stan Deal, CEO of Boeing's commercial airplane unit, said Ed Clark was removed as part of a leadership reshuffle to ensure "every airplane we deliver meets or exceeds all quality and safety requirements," CNBC reports. The move comes almost two months after a door plug blew off a 737 Max 9 jet in flight over Oregon, leading to pressure from lawmakers for Boeing to show it is committed to safety, reports the New York Times.

Clark oversaw Max production at Boeing's Renton, Washington, facility. In a preliminary report, the National Transportation Safety Board said the bolts that were supposed to hold the door plug in place were missing when the plane left the factory. Clark was put in charge of the Max program in 2021, after two deadly crashes caused the aircraft to be grounded for 20 months, CNN reports. His previous Max-related roles included chief engineer and chief 737 mechanic.

Deal said that in a change effective immediately, Clark will be replaced by Katie Ringgold, the current vice president of 737 delivery operations, the Seattle Times reports. "Ed departs with my, and our, deepest gratitude for his many significant contributions over nearly 18 years of dedicated service to Boeing," Deal said in an email to employees. (More Boeing stories.)

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