Boeing CEO Calhoun took house $5 million final 12 months earlier than the 737 Max disaster

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, before meeting with a group of senators on January 24, 2024.

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

Outgoing Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun's net salary fell to $5 million last year after declining a bonus, compared with $7 million in 2022, and his latest compensation package is suffering from the ongoing safety crisis surrounding the company's best-selling aircraft who have favourited 737 Max.

Calhoun's total compensation rose 45% last year to $32.8 million, up from $22.6 million the previous year. However, Boeing said the 2023 total is closer to $25 million because it includes long-term incentives such as stock. Shares of the aircraft maker have fallen nearly 30% this year.

Total compensation for Stan Deal, who Boeing replaced at the helm of its commercial aircraft division last month, rose 42% to $12.5 million.

Calhoun said last month he would step down by the end of the year. His departure is part of a broader restructuring that also saw the company replace its chief executive and head of its commercial aircraft division. The manufacturer is grappling with the fallout from a door plug plate that was thrown mid-air from a 737 Max it was operating Alaska Airlines in January.

Boeing disclosed the take-home compensation in a filing Friday, which did not include a $2.8 million 2023 bonus and executive compensation rejected by Calhoun. The company said it will now tie executive compensation more closely to safety goals.

“I promise that I personally and we as a board will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to get this company where it needs to be,” newly appointed Boeing Chairman Steve Mollenkopf said in a note to shareholders on Friday .

The Jan. 5 accident has slowed deliveries of new jets and Boeing has said it will burn more cash than previously expected. The company is expected to report first-quarter results on April 24.

Calhoun took the helm at Boeing in January 2020 after his predecessor was fired over his handling of the aftermath of two deadly 737 Max crashes. In addition to the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the aviation industry, Boeing has also experienced numerous quality defects in its aircraft. This has caused deliveries of new aircraft to slow down to customers demanding new jets as travel declined, hurting Boeing's cash flow.

The Alaska Airlines door jam near-disaster was the most serious problem since the crashes. The Justice Department is investigating the Alaska Airlines accident and the Federal Aviation Administration has limited production of Boeing's 737 Max until Boeing clears quality control.

Boeing said Friday that “operating performance metrics for all business units this year will be focused solely on quality and safety goals” and that long-term executive incentives could be reduced to zero if the goals are not met.

Boeing last posted an annual profit in 2018.

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