Ed Clark, Head of the Boeing 737 MAX Program, is Out

According to a memo seen by Reuters, Ed Clark, the head of Boeing’s problematic 737 MAX program, has departed the airline amid increased scrutiny over its safety protocols and production following a mid-air panel burst on January 5.
Per a person familiar with the situation, the modifications were made following this week’s meeting of the Boeing board.

Following the mishap involving a door panel that separated during flight on a brand-new Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9, Boeing has been rushing to clarify and reinforce its safety protocols. The plane that was involved in the accident was completed at the company’s Renton, Washington, production facility, which Clark oversaw.

Stan Deal, the CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, released a note to staff announcing that Katie Ringgold will take over as vice president and general manager. The Seattle Times was the first to report on the memo.

Following the top aviation regulator’s visit to Renton, Washington, to tour the Boeing 737 facility, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun is scheduled to meet with FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker next week. This week’s changes in leadership coincide with that meeting.

Boeing’s MAX production has been limited while the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States conducts an audit of the planemaker’s manufacturing process. The FAA grounded the MAX 9 for several weeks in January.

In early February, the U.S. National Safety Transportation Board released a preliminary analysis that suggested there were four missing crucial bolts from the door panel that flew off the jet.

The report states that the door plug in question was taken out in order to fix damage to the rivets, but the NTSB has not discovered any proof that the bolts were put back in.

On some 737 MAX 9 aircraft, the panel is a plug-in device in lieu of an extra emergency exit.

On Wednesday, shares of Boeing decreased by 0.3%.

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