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Emirates president pushes for ‘strong engineering lead’ at Boeing

Boeing faces a crisis following incidents like a mid-air door detachment on a 737 Max in January

Emirates president pushes for ‘strong engineering lead’ at Boeing
[Source photo: Krishna Prasad/Fast Company Middle East]

Boeing is facing increasing pressure to tackle issues related to governance and safety, with stakeholders closely monitoring its efforts to regain trust and assurance in its operations.

Amid this growing pressure, Tim Clark, President of Emirates and a major customer of Boeing, has called for prioritizing safety standards in the aircraft manufacturer’s ongoing CEO search. In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Clark emphasized the need for an engineering leader at the helm, citing Boeing’s current struggles.

“To fix Boeing’s issues, the company needs a strong engineering lead as its head coupled with a governance model that prioritizes safety and quality,” Clark said. He even supported Boeing’s largest union’s push for board representation, highlighting the need for “serious lateral thinking” to navigate the crisis.

This call comes amidst a major leadership shakeup at Boeing. The company faces a deepening reputational crisis following incidents like a mid-air door detachment on a 737 Max in January.

In response, CEO Dave Calhoun announced his year-end departure, with board chair Larry Kellner following suit in May. The reshuffle also saw COO Stephanie Pope take over the commercial planes division.

Emirates has long voiced concerns about Boeing’s manufacturing and quality issues. Clark stressed the urgency for Boeing to address these problems swiftly, especially considering production slowdowns and lingering issues with the 737 Max. 

“Whether, yet again, this changing of the guard will resolve Boeing’s issues only time will tell, but time, unfortunately, is not on their side,” Clark said.

As Boeing navigates this critical juncture, industry observers scrutinize potential CEO candidates like Stephanie Pope, Dave Gitlin, Patrick Shanahan, and Greg Smith. The machinists’ union also advocates for board representation to ensure workers’ voices are heard.

The Innovation By Design Summit is in Doha on April 24. Attendance at the summit is by invitation only. Delegates can register here to receive their exclusive invite.

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