Should Calhoun Stay On Boeing Board After Departing As CEO?

By Spyros Georgilidakis | May 17, 2024

Boeing shareholders voted on the fate of Dave Calhoun in the company’s board, once he hands over his position as Chief Executive Officer.

When he leaves the company at the end of the year, current Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun will receive $33 million in bonuses, as part of his 2023 pay package. This caused a few raised eyebrows throughout the industry.

Should Calhoun Stay On Boeing Board After Departing As CEO?
Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun. Photo: Narendra Modi, CC BY 3.0

The matter also triggered a shareholder advisory vote, as advisors noted “…a misalignment between CEO pay and company performance”. An understatement for some, since Boeing bonuses are nominally based on meeting cost and production targets.

To be fair, the pay Calhoun is getting on his departure is lower than that of previous Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg ($62.2 million) who lost his job following the MAX crashes and the grounding that followed.

Image: Boeing

Boeing Shareholders – Keeping Calhoun Around?

Boeing shareholders approved the vote on Calhoun’s compensation. However, this is a non-binding vote. But elsewhere, shareholders voted against advice by Proxy advisor Glass Lewis, who recommended that they don’t approve the re-election of Calhoun at the Boeing board. Calhoun will remain, along with two directors for whom Lewis had given the same advice.

Despite some expectations, shareholders and other investors didn’t get any new information on who might succeed Calhoun in the Boeing helm. The company has hired an external advisor to help it with the selection process of a successor.

Should Calhoun Stay On Boeing Board After Departing As CEO?
Photo: NTSB

Multiple analysts and industry stakeholders would like to see someone outside Boeing become the next CEO. However, it isn’t clear if the company’s board shares this view. However, it is worth remembering that, in effect, it was airline CEOs who triggered the departure of Calhoun, following the Alaska MAX-9 blowout.

This suggests that airline bosses could react similarly if they don’t like the board’s choice for the next Boeing CEO. Regulators, unions, lessors, the U.S. State Department, and many others are closely watching the company and the steps it will take to repair its safety culture in the coming weeks and months.


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