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Boeing Fires CFO for Offering Job to Regulator

Mike Sears is fired along with the former government worker, Darleen Druyun.
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Boeing

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fired its chief financial officer, Mike Sears, after learning he spoke to a government official about hiring her while she still had a regulatory role over the jet maker, then trying to cover up the overture.

Also out is Darleen Druyun, the official, whom Boeing eventually hired and made vice president and deputy general manager of its missile defense systems unit.

Boeing said Sears violated company policies by communicating directly and indirectly with Druyun about future employment when she had not disqualified herself from acting in her official government capacity on matters involving Boeing.

"Compelling evidence of this misconduct by Mr. Sears and Ms. Druyun came to light over the last two weeks," Boeing said. "Upon review of the facts, our board of directors determined that immediate dismissal of both individuals for cause was the appropriate course of action."

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Boeing said it told the Department of the Air Force about the firings and will cooperate with the government in its "ongoing investigation regarding this matter." Boeing said it couldn't predict whether the government might take actions against the individuals or Boeing, nor the "consequences of those actions."

The shares closed Friday at $38.36.

Boeing has been scrambling to improve its ethical image after two midlevel employees were indicted last summer for allegedly stealing trade secrets during a bidding war with

Lockheed Martin

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. Kenneth Branch and William Erskine, who were fired in 1999, face charges for allegedly misusing proprietary Lockheed documents during bidding for Air Force contracts.