Boeing ousts leader of 737 Max program in management shake-up

Wide-body turbojet passenger aircraft Boeing 787 Dreamliner

On Wednesday, Boeing announced that the head of the company’s 737 Max program is leaving the company.  The move comes in the wake of a January mishap that has cost the aircraft manufacturer billions of dollars in value. On January 5, a Boeing-manufactured Alaska Airlines plane door panel blew out midair over Portland, forcing an emergency landing.

In an email to employees Wednesday Boeing Executive Vice President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Stanley A. Deal announced several leadership changes which included Ed Clark, the head of the company’s Boeing’s 737 Max program, being removed from his position.  Deal said: “Ed departs with my, and our, deepest gratitude for his many significant contributions over nearly 18 years of dedicated service to Boeing.” Deal said the changes are part of the company’s “enhanced focus on ensuring that every airplane we deliver meets or exceeds all quality and safety requirements …Our customers demand, and deserve, nothing less.”

The Alaska Airlines incident prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to temporarily ground off all Boeing 737 Max 9 airplanes operating in the U.S. and subsequently increase oversight over Boeing aircraft production. Prior to that incident, two Max 8 passenger jets crashed as a result of problems with a flight stabilization feature on the aircraft, killing a total of 346 people. Boeing 737 Max airplanes were subsequently grounded worldwide from March 2019 to November 2020. Airlines worldwide have been operating Max 9s, the version of the 737 Max that succeeded the Max 8, without a major incident since it entered service in 2018. However, the FAA suspended all Boeing Max production expansion in the wake of the January incident.

Editorial credit: Marinodenisenko /