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Boeing extends retirement age for CEO Calhoun for steadying company fortunes

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Boeing announced on Tuesday that it will lift the company’s retirement age for David Calhoun to 70, enabling him to remain as chief executive potentially through April 2028.

Boeing, which has a standard 65-age retirement-age, cited Calhoun’s progress in “building regulator and customer confidence” in enabling the 737 MAX to return to service following two fatal crashes that led to a lengthy grounding.

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Boeing said Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith, who is 54, would retire in July.

The action means Calhoun could remain CEO through April 1, 2028, although “there is no fixed term associated with his employment,” Boeing said.
The announcement came ahead of Boeing’s annual shareholder meeting later on Tuesday.

Calhoun, 64, has been chief executive since January 2020. A longtime Boeing board member, Calhoun was named CEO in December in 2019 as the company reeled from the scandal over the MAX.

Just two months after Calhoun moved into the corner office, Boeing was faced with a second crisis as the coronavirus pandemic devastated airline travel.

Under Calhoun, Boeing slashed thousands of jobs and settled a Department of Justice criminal probe on the MAX, agreeing to pay $2.5 billion in fines.

The company’s fortunes began improving late last year when regulators cleared the MAX to resume service.

“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.

“His dedication to renewing the company’s commitment to safety, quality and transparency has been critical in building regulator and customer confidence as Boeing returns the 737 MAX to service.”

In light of Calhoun’s handling of the MAX, as well as the industry downturn, “the Board has determined that 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,” Kellner said.

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