How much longer to fix the 737 Max

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by brien23, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    I doubt it. I haven't dug too deep but it looks like Boeing has somewhere in the neighborhood of $10B in cash, and did about $100B in revenue last year. Yes, this will hurt them for a while, but it won't kill the company. I'm sure their 2019 profits will look pretty dismal, but "pretty dismal" for a company Boeing's size is still a big ol' bucket of money.
     
  2. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Has the CEO announced which “defense” lobby he’s been hired at yet? LOL. Coffee is for closers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
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  3. AGLyme

    AGLyme Pre-takeoff checklist

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    He was fired for sure. Boeing can't say he was "fired" for doing a poor job which proves culpability, and they certainly need to pay him a significant leave package due to the colossal amount of litigation on its way. Crash victims, Airlines, Suppliers... in the Billions and Billions.

    The former CEO will be giving testimony for the next gajillion years. Corporate needs him on message for a long time. Can't afford to have an enemy at the deposition table.

    A high quality culture is expensive, but, FAR less expensive than the results of a stock appreciation-at-any-cost one as outlined in all the fine posts above.
     
  4. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    I believe the phrase in PR speak is, “He has chosen to pursue new opportunities and spend time with family.” LOL
     
  5. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    That’s how it works. Part scapegoat, part witness for the defense.

    Not that he is an innocent scapegoat but there are more than one individual contributing to what happened.
     
  6. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    Doubtful. One, the MAX problem is relatively small issue in the big picture; two, this hasn't been Boeing's first major crisis; and three, collectively, the airlines would never allow Airbus to the sole provider of heavy metal. If I was a betting man, I wouldn't be surprised if the MAX flies by end of next February as it's been ready to fly since last April.
    Will be interesting to read Boeing 10Q/10K reports on how they explain his departure and what he was actually paid to separate from the company.
     
  7. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    The MAX won’t end Boeing but the culture and attitudes that led to it just might.

    Replacing the CEO with the chairman ain’t gonna cut it....
     
  8. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Won't put it out of business even with a couple of colossal mistakes.

    Just look at GE as an example. Or IBM.
     
  9. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    Big mistakes might not end a business. More important is how the business responds to the problem, how the business recognizes mistakes and learns from them. Strong corporations frequently recover from them.

    But what we're learning from Boeing's response is that it is not a strong company. The foundation, the underlying culture and principles and atmosphere, is rotten. Certainly even that is recoverable, but it's much more challenging and Boeing is not trying to reform the company. They're just replacing the carpets and slapping on fresh paint, rather than ripping out rotten wood and renovating.
     
  10. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    The MAX problem explained in three easy panels:

    upload_2019-12-23_15-15-38.png
     
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  11. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    they're still using wood?....o_O
     
  12. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    I think you'll find as soon as the CEO leaves along with his minions the culture and attitudes will also. At least that is what I hear from those you know more than me or the media.
    I think it depends from what perspective you view the company. If strictly from the MAX angle, I think there were some missteps. However, I believe at the company core it still is very strong and resilient. Most of the "rot" in my opinion was above the 9th floor.
     
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  13. Half Fast

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    Maybe you're right. I hope so.

    But from what I've read, that rot has led to a weakened engineering organization. If engineers don't feel a deep, in-the-gut, personal obligation regarding the correctness and safety of the products, and more importantly believe they have the authority to speak up and have their concerns taken seriously, the problem still persists. Those attitudes have their source in how the engineers see themselves, the profession, and their roles. Such attitudes and perceptions take time, coupled with lots of positive reinforcement, to change.

    I'm speculating about how deep the problem may be at Boeing, but what I'm saying about the effects of such a problem and the difficulty in addressing it is not idle speculation. I've been a practicing engineer at Lockheed for over 35 years, about 20 years in engineering management. Today I manage the chief engineer dept for my business unit (aka "chief of chiefs"). Our culture, at least in my little corner of the company, is quite different from Boeing and I still have to reinforce to my folks their obligations, their responsibility to make their voices heard and to listen to the engineers working for them, and that they work for the engineering organization and not program managers.

    Boeing won't fix this by replacing just the CEO, especially not by replacing him with the chairman. A major house cleaning, coupled with explaining what must change and why, is necessary. And then time, with lots of modeling good examples.
     
  14. AGLyme

    AGLyme Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I wish the 63 yo retread Chairman, soon to be CEO again, were 10 years younger. If he were, he would at least have a solid biz cycle to take 4 steps back, change the culture and then move forward again. During that period the stock price would, under normal circumstances, suffer due to big investments in a higher quality program.
    How he will make the $ investments he needs to make while keeping the stock up... so he can retire soon with a huge package at say current stock prices, will be a tough magic trick.
    It’s all about the C Suite after all... damn shame.
     
  15. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    For Boeing’s sake, I hope Calhoun will fix this. But seeing what he has done at my company, I don’t have high hopes.
     
  16. Half Fast

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    I have very high hopes. For Lockheed. :)
     
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  17. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    While everyone will focus on the role of the CEO in the response to the 737Max accidents, the ultimate failure is of the CEO and Board for being flat-footed in planning for the future competition in the narrow-body market. Instead, the company responded late by kludging the 737 airframe to fulfill a mission it was not really designed for, instead of having a new airframe in development. An outcome of that kludge was an increasing number of engineering and safety compromises to rush it to market. This episode will be a marquee case study for undergraduate business majors for years to come...
     
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  18. Half Fast

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    I expect it to be a popular case study in risk management and in engineering ethics classes, too.
     
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  19. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ....maybe a failure in cultivating a successful safety culture vs. cutting corners and shelving innovation to make it to market with the A320.

    The exec's....IMHO....failed to provide vision that cultivates an innovative road map of product development. This happened about 10-15 years ago.....chickens are coming home to roost....today.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2019
  20. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    And just as I post this there is an NPR piece on how the "weak board" of Boeing shares significant blame for this mess...
     
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  21. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    My feeling is that, if it is necessary to fire (or force out) the CEO due to a major failure such as this, the board should pretty much all go as well. A failure like this means there has been a long term leadership failure at the very top, and if things got to this point... where the hell was the board?

    I feel exactly the same about my own employer. The CEO was replaced, but the entire board of directors should have been clear cut for failing to provide the oversight and corrective action that would have prevented a major scandal and billions in financial impact.
     
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  22. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    It's an overdue start. And a temporary fix to stick the chairman in the breech.

    I think Commercial Airplanes needs to be separated from the defence and space businesses. It will need a singular focus from dedicated new C-suite inhabitants to turn this around and rebuild it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
  23. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Boards of directors are terribly inbred and receive very little oversight. Did anyone have the authority to sack the board? I'm guessing no.
     
  24. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    No, obviously not. They’re elected (ha) by the shareholders. I said they should all be cleared out, not that they ever would be.
     
  25. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    That’s what I was trying to say but you put it much more eloquently!
     
  26. Dave Theisen

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    How much blame should we place on the airlines? At some point, Boeing should have said, “Sorry Southwest (and others), you’re just going to have to suck it up and pay for new type ratings, because we’ve stretched this design to the limit.”
     
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  27. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They could have....but that's not what was in the purchase agreement.
     
  28. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    The avoidance of that was one of the points that made the airplane attractive. If Boeing needs to walk that back on the aircraft that have already been delivered/sold/promised, they can, but it should be on Boeing's nickle.
     
  29. denverpilot

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    Hell they should have said that when they released the first 737. Lol.

    It was always a quick design to deal with competitive pressure for smaller aircraft to handle routes without high load factors and then it got stretched to be a 757 replacement.

    It’s like the 182. Not the best at anything it does but fills multiple roles at the 80% level. Which tends to sell well into any market. Versatility, etc... but it’s a compromise design through and through.

    They badly needed a replacement for the 727 and quick... the 737 was the result.
     
  30. Bill Greenwood

    Bill Greenwood Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I heard a story on an a business show. which I doubt, but for what it is worth it says some 737s have been flying lately when crews moved them around to different storage areas. I think they did it with the MCAS system disconnected. And I have no real info on this. I am dubious.
     
  31. denverpilot

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    There’s been a few tracked on FlightAware.

    Parked in bad places, ferry permit, move them to somewhere safer or not blocking some ramp somewhere. Required crew only. Etc.

    Pretty normal when a fleet gets grounded.
     
  32. Brad Smith

    Brad Smith Line Up and Wait

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    Getting rid of the CEO is a knee jerk reaction and will not cure an engineering problem. No CEO has his hands in every step of development. As you climb the corporate ladder you lose touch with the different departments the higher you go. You depend on managers and directors who are supposed to be qualified to make important decisions. No, a CEO change is not going to cure any issue. Just like changing one member of the Senate is not going to bring any meaningful change to our country.
     
  33. Geosync

    Geosync Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Boeing is too big to fail. They are so intertwined with the government on the defense side of the house, and overall a huge chuck of our GDP that the powers that be will make sure they stick around. So it will take a young visionary CEO to clean house, which probably won’t happen if everyone on the board/upper management are still the Old Guard.
     
  34. Checkout_my_Six

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    It's not the engineers who are making key decisions.....management wants it now and is willing to cut corners. Not good. This change should be the beginning of a change in the safety culture.
     
  35. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Administrator Management Council Member

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    The same thing was said of Eastern and Braniff and one or two other airlines that no longer exist.
     
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  36. Fearless Tower

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    Yes, but there was no incentive for the govt to bail out EAL or Braniff.

    Think GM. If it comes to that BA will still be around. Won’t be necessary any better, just still around.
     
  37. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Getting rid of the CEO can be the start of a process. He's gone, so his toadies no longer have air cover. The ones who promoted the "cheap fix" atmosphere will be the next to go, and so on down the line. They have to get rid of that culture and move back to a culture that puts emphasis on doing things the "right" way, which means not cutting corners, even when the customer practically begs you to.

    Or, they can "arrest the usual suspects" and carry on as normal. There will be a lot of management inertia to let that happen. The new CEO cannot allow that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2019
  38. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    But the FAA said they were fine? Lol
     
  39. Half Fast

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    But that's hard and takes time.

    More likely. It's the easier path and already in progress. The CEO was the first usual suspect.
     
  40. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Put into mandatory binding arbitration...