01.14.20

Senator Baldwin Joins Colleagues in Demanding Boeing Cancel CEO’s Bonus for Ungrounding the 737 MAX

737 MAX plane crashes killed 346 people, FAA still investigating, emails indicate that Boeing misled regulators and rushed a dangerously flawed plane into the sky

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, along with Senators Edward Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), are calling on the Boeing Company’s Board of Directors to immediately cancel a $7 million bonus payment for its new CEO.

The company filed a report last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission that declared David L. Calhoun is eligible for the bonus if he returns the 737 MAX to service. Previous reports indicate that Boeing rushed the design, production and certification of the 737 MAX in the pursuit of profit, opening the door to decisions that ultimately endangered public safety and resulted in the deaths of 346 people aboard Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. An incentive payment conditioned on the ungrounding of the 737 MAX continues this pattern of negligent corporate-decision-making and shows that Boeing is still prioritizing profit over safety.

“This payment represents a clear financial incentive for Mr. Calhoun to pressure regulators into ungrounding the 737 MAX, as well as rush the investigations and reforms needed to guarantee public safety,” write the Senators in their letter to Boeing’s Board of Directors. “We believe that this bonus would be unconscionable in the face of two tragic plane crashes and proof that Boeing has not learned its lesson.”

A copy of the letter to Boeing can be found here.

In their letter, the Senators also express concern about a $62 million exit package that Boeing is providing to its former CEO, Dennis A. Muilenburg. The magnitude of this compensation stands in stark contrast to a recent announcement that 2,800 employees on Boeing’s supply chain have received layoff notices due to the “ongoing uncertainty” surrounding the 737 MAX.