Boeing CEO Ousted Over Affair
Just two days after having its ban from the U.S. Air Force launch market lifted, Boeing has fired CEO Harry Stonecipher after an affair with a female executive came to the board’s attention. While the employee was not a direct report of Stonecipher’s and the affair did not itself violate the company’s code of conduct, the board concluded the facts reflected poorly on Stonecipher’s judgment, and would impair his ability to lead the company.
Stonecipher had retired from Boeing in 2002 as President and COO, but the board persuaded him to return after his predecessor Phil Condit resigned in the wake of a scandal involving the illegal hire of an Air Force procurement officer. Analysts had generally praised Stonecipher’s leadership during his 15-month tenure, crediting him with turning around the company’s commercial airline business and putting the defense unit back on its feet. The company said Chief Financial Officer James Bell, 56, would serve as president and CEO on an interim basis, while Chairman Lew Platt assumes more executive duties. Because Bell has said he is not a candidate for the permanent CEO position, analysts expect Chairman Lew Platt to fill Stonecipher’s role on key sales calls. Google News Clippings, Forbes article, MSNBC coverage.