Boeing removes head of 737 Max program

View of economy seats inside the coach cabin of airplane

Boeing has removed executive Ed Clark, head of its troubled 737 Max passenger jet program, following a midair blowout incident in January. Clark, an 18-year company veteran, will be succeded by Kat Ringgold as vice president and general manager of the 737 program and Boeing’s factory in Renton, Washington.

The 737 Max, Boeing’s top-selling plane, has faced ongoing issues, including a 20-month grounding in 2019-2020 after two fatal crashes. Clark, in charge since March 2021, assumed responsibility for recent incidents, including a door plug blowing out on an Alaska Airlines flight. Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun accepted responsibility for the incidents. Elizabeth Lund has been named Senior Vice President for BCA Quality, with Mike Fleming and Katie Ringgold assuming new roles. The incidents have also delayed the certification of new Max versions, the Max 7 and Max 10.

CEOs of Boeing’s three key customers, United Airlines, Southwest, and Delta Air Lines, have stated that they no longer expect to receive the new versions of the planes they had previously ordered anytime soon. The CEO of United went as far as referring to the Alaska Air incident as the “straw that broke the camel’s back” concerning his airline’s planning to purchase the new Max 10.

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