Boeing Approves Record $33 Million Payday for Departing CEO Amid Crises

Shareholders of Boeing have approved an unprecedented compensation package of nearly $33 million for outgoing CEO Dave Calhoun.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Boeing Approves Record $33 Million Payday for Departing CEO Amid Crises
© Getty Images/Samuel Corum

Shareholders of Boeing have approved an unprecedented compensation package of nearly $33 million for outgoing CEO Dave Calhoun. This decision, marking the highest payout ever for a Boeing CEO, represents a 45% increase from the $22.6 million he received in 2022.

Safety Concerns and Executive Changes

This approval comes at a challenging time for Boeing, which is currently under intense scrutiny following several safety incidents. One of the most serious incidents involved a midair blowout of a fuselage section in January, prompting numerous investigations into the company’s safety practices.

In response, Boeing has undergone significant executive changes and made commitments to improving its safety standards and operational procedures. Boeing’s financial woes began five years ago following two fatal crashes of its 737 Max aircraft in late 2018 and early 2019.

These tragic accidents led to a 20-month grounding of its best-selling aircraft. The grounding severely impacted Boeing’s finances, a situation further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought global air travel to a near standstill for months, leading to substantial financial losses for airlines and Boeing alike.

Since the 737 Max grounding in 2019, Boeing has reported adjusted losses exceeding $31 billion. The company anticipates continued financial challenges in the foreseeable future, adding to the urgency of its turnaround efforts.

Financial Struggles and Calhoun’s Departure

Dave Calhoun, who took the helm at Boeing in 2020, announced in March that he will step down by the end of the year. Upon his retirement, Calhoun is set to receive an additional compensation package valued at $45 million, consisting of stock awards and options that will vest over time.

Despite the financial challenges, Boeing’s shareholders have chosen to reward Calhoun’s leadership with a substantial pay package. This decision has sparked controversy, given the company’s ongoing losses and the need for significant operational improvements.

On the stock market, shares of Boeing (BA) fell by 0.7% in late-morning trading, reflecting investor concerns about the company's future prospects and financial health.

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