Shareholder Vote Against Boeing CEO Urged by Proxy Advisor

In a move that could shake up Boeing's leadership, influential  proxy advisor Glass Lewis has recommended that shareholders vote against the re-election of three directors, including CEO Dave Calhoun, at the company's upcoming annual meeting. This recommendation comes amid ongoing concerns about Boeing's safety culture, particularly in the wake of the 737 MAX grounding and crashes. Glass Lewis cited dissatisfaction with Boeing's efforts to transform its safety culture as the primary reason for its recommendation. 


The advisor believes that the board, particularly the aerospace safety and audit committee chairs, has not adequately addressed potential risks related to safety, legal issues, and regulatory hurdles. They argue that a vote against these directors would send a strong message to Boeing about the need for significant changes in its approach to safety. Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun, who has been with the company since 2009 and is scheduled to step down by year-end, is among the directors targeted by Glass Lewis. The other two directors are Akhil Johri, chair of the Boeing board's audit committee, and David Joyce, who chairs the aerospace safety committee. Both Johri and Joyce are relatively new to the board, having joined in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

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This recommendation by Glass Lewis carries significant weight, as many institutional investors rely on their guidance when making voting decisions. A strong showing against the directors in question could force Boeing to re-evaluate its leadership structure and potentially make significant changes to its safety protocols. The news comes at a crucial time for Boeing as it attempts to move past the 737 MAX crisis and regain the trust of regulators, airlines, and the flying public. 

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The company has faced intense scrutiny in recent years, with both the FAA and lawmakers calling for improvements in its safety culture. Whether investors will heed Glass Lewis's recommendation remains to be seen. However, the move has undoubtedly cast a spotlight on Boeing's ongoing safety challenges and the pressure the company faces to prioritize safety above all else.

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