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Boeing Slumps As CFO Smith Retires, CEO Calhoun Retirement Extended

Boeing chairman Larry Kellner says CEO David Calhoun has "effectively navigated one of the most challenging and complex periods in Boeing's long history."

Boeing Co.  (BA) - Get The Boeing Company Report slumped lower Tuesday after the planemaker announced the departure of veteran CFO Greg Smith and extended the retirement age for CEO David Calhoun.  

Smith, who was appointed CFO in 2011, will retire on July 9, with the company immediately launching a search for his successor. Calhoun, 64, had his standard retirement age extended by five years, to 70, amid his efforts to "one of the most challenging and complex periods in Boeing's long history", chairman Larry Kellner said. 

"His dedication to renewing the company's commitment to safety, quality and transparency has been critical in building regulator and customer confidence as Boeing returns the 737 MAX to service," Kellner said. "And, in the face of unprecedented challenges brought on by the global pandemic, he has taken proactive actions to ensure Boeing remains strongly positioned for the recovery in the aviation industry."

"Given the substantial progress Boeing has made under Dave's leadership, as well as the continuity necessary to thrive in our long-cycle industry, the Board has determined that it is in the best interests of the company and its stakeholders to allow the Board and Dave the flexibility for him to continue in his role beyond the company's standard retirement age," he added.

Boeing shares were marked 4.4% lower in early trading Tuesday to change hands at $233.40 each, a move that still leaves the stock with a six-month gain of around 38%.

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Last week, Boeing said it secured net new orders for the second consecutive month in March as carriers prepare for a post-pandemic rebound in global passenger traffic.

Boeing said its net new orders for March totaled 40 new aircraft, lifting the first quarter tally to 69. In terms of deliveries, Boeing shifted a total of 77 planes over the first quarter, including 7 widebody aircraft and 22 737s last month, a 55% increase from the same period last year.

Its flagship 737 MAX, however, remains beset with headline risks, with the planemaker advising customers earlier this month to address a potential electrical issue found within a specific group of the panes before they are put back into service.

Boeing will publish its first-quarter earnings on April 28, with analysts looking for a bottom line of $1.44 per share on sales of around $15.4 billion.

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