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Boeing CEO rejects $3 million bonus due to Alaska Airlines incident

Following January’s near-catastrophic incident involving a Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft operated by Alaska Airlines, outgoing Boeing CEO David Calhoun declined to be considered for an yearly bonus, the US-based maker of airplanes, said in a securities filing on Friday.

FILE – Boeing CEO David Calhoun speaks briefly with reporters after a meeting in the office of Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., at the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 24, 2024 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Calhoun, who will exit as chief executive at the end of 2024, would have received a potential $2.8 million bonus in addition to the $32.8 million he received as salary for 2023, the company stated.

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“Following the Alaska Airlines incident, Mr. Calhoun declined to be considered for an annual incentive payout, and the Board honoured that request. Throughout his tenure, he has demanded transparency within Boeing and with our customers, regulators, and the flying public,” the filing read.

The 66-year-old’s stint as Boeing’s president and chief executive began in January 2020, and the Arlington, Virginia-headquartered manufacturer, praised him for taking decisions that, according to the Board, “were in the long-term interest of Boeing, even if they came at the expense of achieving near-term financial or operational goals.”

The plane-maker also acknowledged that the January 5 mid-air emergency, during which a door plug panel tore off from the side of a MAX 9 jet cruising at an altitude of 16,000 feet, showed that Boeing has “much work yet to do.” The aircraft, operating as Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, was on its way to Ontario after taking off from Portland with 171 passengers and six crew members on board. It returned to Portland and made a successful emergency landing.

“Mr. Calhoun has responded to this event in the right way by taking responsibility for the accident, engaging transparently and proactively with regulators and customers and taking important steps to strengthen Boeing’s quality assurance,” the filing said.

On March 25, more than two months after the accident, it was announced that Calhoun will step down as CEO at the end of the year. A successor is yet to be named.

(With agency inputs)

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