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Boeing appoints special advisor for comprehensive quality review

The Boeing Company announced Tuesday they have named Admiral Kirkland H. Donald, U.S. Navy (Ret.) as special advisor to Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun. ( More...

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Jeffrey Bue 10
Another "expert" is not needed in this case. Boeing needs to make changes from the top and then start working to the bottom. The CEO needs to be fired and Boeing needs to start all over again. Whoever at Boeing made all these bad decisions to "max"imize profits needs to be held accountable. The Board of Directors needs to do the right thing. This age-old idea of hiring someone who has "influence" in DC to get around the ire of the lawmakers needs to stop immediately.
21voyageur 8
Agree in principle however the board, as part of its governance responsibilities, must itself be scrutinized. The board has one employee reporting to it and that is the CEO.
Carl Richter 8
Just some lipstick on a pig.Time for substantive changes at Boeing.
mbrews 7
So, the experts will show up at the manufacturing plants and look at everything. How about they ADD a review of Boeing outsourced design and software programming . Remember MCAS software, aggressively pitching the nose down ???
James Werner 6
Kick the bean counters to the curb and put the engineers back in charge. Problem solved.
Larry Tullos 5
As 44 yr career Quality & Reliability professional (in semiconductors), I've seen the good and bad and mergers and spinoffs and many things in between. I lost count of the CEOs and reorganizations, but I can assure you that they all were impactful to quality. When new managers take over who have never had to deal with major quality problems and customer complaints that eat their days and nights away for months, their attention is typically only on schedules and costs. It doesn't take long for the rest of the organization to figure out what's important to the new head, and what can be sacrificed. Then comes the delays or failures that get blamed on unseen quality people to deflect attention away from the real issues, and Sr managers are too inexperienced or stupid to ask the right penetrating questions. Then the undermining and 'working around' spreads like cancer.

The S-storm always happens eventually, and some but not all facts are exposed and "the story" is developed around it so it can be neatly compartmentalized. The ineffective managers which may be many of the old ones that didn't get run off, or new ones that are equally as bad will declare that from this day on, Quality is most important, or Job 1 or something just as catchy with new posters and slogans posted throughout the workplace. They may even put quality measurements in their MBOs and Operation Reviews for a while, until the problem is a distant memory or is at least displaced by a new product release or booming financial results.

However, once in a while, a CEO or other respected leader will understand the importance and value that a focus on quality gives to the organization's success and also demand that the Quality organization provide real value by working with the rest of the organization to help them identify, understand, and correct problems holding the back. The discussions shift from "quality problems" to process and product improvements. People and more importantly, integrated teams start getting recognized for their achievements, and pride with higher standards starts returning to the workplace and organization.

In my experience, it's almost impossible for this to occur without top leadership that understands that quality can't be separated from innovation, schedule, cost, customer service, and every other aspect of the business and is committed to a long-term vision. Hopefully, Mr Calhoun understands this and Admiral Donald has the expertise to help him deploy it. Many of the Boeing workers will know it by the end of the year if they are on the right track, but everyone will know it if they are only in it to get through the current crisis.
The best advice Admiral Donald can give to Calhoun is, Resign.

WD Rseven 4
No "special advisor" would be needed if the Boeing executives would get off their duff for a change.
avionik99 6
Along with his other jobs this guy is making a killing!!
Charles Henry 1
Sounds great! Let's appoint a guy with little to no knowledge of aviation as a special advisor! Why not appoint Oprah or Dr. Phil?
Duane Mader -6
Spirit Aerosystems- bunch of their female employees walking like girl bosses to Shania’s “Feel Like A Woman” a few weeks before sending out a plug door with loose bolts. Ain’t DEI great?
Bob Moseley 5
I’m sure the women did a similar dance when they built and delivered pretty much all the aircraft delivered in WWII.
Duane, I would suggest you rethink your position on the value contributed by all minorities. If you must, judge individuals and not groups. Not every group preforms perfectly every time. But not every group preforms imperfectly every time either. Just sayin’
Very different culture of women, Mr. Moseley.
Paul Ipolito 1
There should be a special section designated for "Angry, Powerless, White Guys" Comments.


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