Boeing Fires Executive Ed Clark

( – Airplane and space defense systems manufacturer Boeing just fired one of its top executives. Ed Clark, who oversaw the company’s 737 Max passenger jet program, came under scrutiny after the safety of Boeing’s 737-9 Max aircraft came into question. The company has reorganized its management in hopes of improving safety and strengthening the public’s trust.

The Boeing 737 Max is the company’s best-selling airplane. Its popularity set the stage for a devastating blow when a plugged emergency exit in one of its 737-9 jets flew off shortly after the craft left the runway, creating a massive hole in the side of the craft. Alaska Airlines quickly canceled all of its upcoming flights that used the popular model so officials could investigate.

The National Transportation Safety Board issued a preliminary report stating that the lost door had been the result of missing bolts, and the airplane reportedly left the factory without anyone noticing the mistake.

The company has offered numerous updates on its handling of the potentially deadly situation, and its president and CEO, Dave Calhoun, said Boeing was taking full responsibility for the event. He added that the company immediately jumped to fix the problem, and it now has a control plan in place to make sure door plug installations always go according to its specifications.

Part of the fix included an overhaul to the Max program’s top management. Vice president of 737 Delivery Operations, Katie Ringgold, is filling Clark’s old position. Boeing’s senior vice president and general manager of airplane programs, Elizabeth Lund, has moved to a new position, senior vice president for Boeing Commercial Airplane (BCA) Quality, and the company’s senior vice president of development programs and customer support, Mike Fleming, will take over BCA Quality.

Boeing states that it is cooperating fully with the Federal Aviation Administration in its investigation. The manufacturer has also invited customers to visit its factories and review the changes for themselves.

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