Boeing Raises Retirement Age for CEO, Says Finance Chief to Exit

Boeing Co. is raising the retirement age for Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun to 70, citing his “substantial progress” in piloting the company through the grounding of the 737 Max jetliner and bringing it back from the coronavirus pandemic.

In another surprise move, Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith will leave the company July 9, Boeing said in a statement Tuesday before its annual shareholder meeting. The company is seeking a successor for Smith, who had been spearheading Boeing’s turnaround and was viewed as a contender for the top job. Calhoun, 64, became CEO a little more than a year ago.

The management shakeup tightens Calhoun’s grip on the reins as the U.S. planemaker tries to recover from one of the toughest stretches in its century-long history. The Max is in the process of returning from the longest jetliner grounding in U.S. history, and Boeing is still contending with the unprecedented collapse in air travel caused by Covid-19.

“Under Dave’s strong leadership, Boeing has effectively navigated one of the most challenging and complex periods in its long history,” said Boeing Chairman Larry Kellner. “It is in the best interests of the company and its stakeholders to allow the board and Dave the flexibility for him to continue in his role beyond the company’s standard retirement age.”

Boeing fell 1.1% to $241.54 ahead of regular trading in New York, amid broad market declines.

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