Boeing 737 MAX Executive Retires -- WSJ
By Doug Cameron
This article is being republished as part of our daily
reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S.
print edition of The Wall Street Journal (July 12, 2019).
Boeing Co. said the head of its 737 MAX production facility will
retire after less than a year at a division engulfed in crisis
following two fatal crashes of the aircraft.
Eric Lindblad will be replaced by Mark Jenks as vice president
of the huge Boeing plant outside Seattle in Renton, Wash., that
produces the 737, Boeing said.
Boeing said the departure of Mr. Lindblad, a 34-year company
veteran, wasn't a consequence of the fatal crashes of 737 MAX
planes operated by Indonesia's Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines that
together killed all 346 people on board.
Regulators around the world grounded the MAX after the second
crash in March. That has snarled schedules for airlines that fly
the aircraft. Boeing has slowed production of the planes while the
timing has slipped on fixes to flight-control systems that have to
be approved by regulators, allowing the plane to return to
The company already has taken a $1 billion hit on the production
cut and also faces compensation claims from airlines and lawsuits
from families of the victims. Analysts expect its closely watched
free cash flow to turn negative when Boeing reports second-quarter
earnings on July 24.
Boeing hasn't fired any staff over the MAX crisis, though the
company has said some have been redeployed.
Mr. Lindblad wasn't involved in the development of the MAX. He
took charge last August as production of the plane was slowed by
supply-chain kinks including late delivery of fuselages and
engines. Partially finished jets piled up on runways near the
Renton plant as the production problems mounted. Most of the
problems have since been resolved, in part because of the
Mr. Jenks takes over as Boeing wrestles with having to cut
production again as a backlog of 150 completed MAX jets continues
to build and the timing of the MAX's return to passenger service
Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Kevin McAllister said in a
letter to staff Thursday that Mr. Lindblad had said last year that
he wanted to retire.
"We will now begin to embark on a thoughtful and seamless
transition," Mr. McAllister said.
Mr. Jenks previously led the team developing Boeing's proposed
New Midmarket Airplane. Boeing hasn't decided whether to launch the
That role will be taken over by Mike Sinnett, who is expanding
his brief as head of all of Boeing's new jetliner development.
Write to Doug Cameron at firstname.lastname@example.org
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July 12, 2019 02:47 ET (06:47 GMT)
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