A worker is handed a protective mask while entering a Boeing production plant Tuesday in Everett. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

A worker is handed a protective mask while entering a Boeing production plant Tuesday in Everett. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Boeing directors elected despite concerns by advisory firms

Two proxy advisers warned shareholders to support CEO David Calhoun “with caution.”

By David Koenig / Associated Press

Boeing shareholders approved a slate of 12 company-backed nominees for the board on Monday despite recommendations from two proxy advisers against five directors, including the chairman, for what the advisers called poor oversight of the company’s handling of the 737 Max crisis.

Glass Lewis said shareholders should reject Chairman Lawrence Kellner, and Institutional Shareholders Service targeted four other longtime directors and told investors to support CEO David Calhoun “with caution.”

All of them served on the board during development of the Max, which has been grounded since March 2019 after two crashes that killed 346 people.

Boeing said preliminary results from the online-only meeting gave each board nominee a majority. The Chicago company didn’t immediately release figures.

Shareholders narrowly approved a measure calling for an independent chairman. Kellner is an outsider, but Dennis Muilenburg held both CEO and chairman titles until he was fired in December.

Former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley resigned from the board last month, saying she opposed Boeing’s effort “to lean on the federal government for a stimulus or bailout” to cope with the virus pandemic, which has caused air traffic in the U.S. to plunge about 95% and led global airlines to ground 2,800 planes and delay plans to buy new ones.

Boeing is expected to apply for a share of $17 billion in low-interest loans that Congress and the Trump administration set aside for defense companies.

Last week, the company resumed production in Seattle and Everett plants that had been shut down after workers tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

Calhoun said it will take years for the aircraft-building business to return to levels seen before the pandemic.

“It is difficult to estimate when the situation will stabilize,” he said, “but when it does, the commercial market will be smaller and our customers’ needs will be different.”

Calhoun said the company’s defense business remains healthy.

Boeing is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on Wednesday. The company is coming off its first money-losing year in two decades because of the Max crisis, and analysts surveyed by FactSet expect a first-quarter loss of more than $500 million, or $1.57 per share.

Boeing shares have dropped about 60% this year.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

County staff urges ‘no’ on Point Wells development proposal

County Hearing Examiner Peter Camp could decide the fate of the high-rise project this summer.

SpaceX captures the flag, beating Boeing in cosmic contest

Elon Musk’s company is the first private firm to launch a crew to the International Space Station.

Alderwood mall is ready for the governor’s green light

The Lynnwood shopping center, closed since March 24, could reopen in June. But expect changes.

Snohomish County seeks to enter second phase of reopening

The variance request will go to the state if approved by the Board of Health and the County Council.

Firm accused of violating eviction ban agrees to restitution

About 1,450 tenants, including some in Marysville, will receive rent refunds or direct payments.

Texan comes to defend Snohomish outlaw barber cutting hair

Bob Martin is defying orders to close. The man he calls his attorney didn’t go to law school.

Hundreds of masked guests line up as Tulalip casinos reopen

Tulalip Resort Casino and Quil Ceda Creek opened the doors on Tuesday after a two-month closure.

Boeing workers cope with the virus threat as layoffs loom

Five weeks after they returned to work, Boeing workers say measures inside the plants are mostly working.

Boeing cutting more than 12,000 jobs with layoffs, buyouts

The company said it will lay off 6,770 workers this week, and another 5,520 are taking buyouts.

Worst jobless rate in the state: Snohomish County at 20.2%

In April, 91,383 were unemployed in the county. The aerospace sector was hit especially hard.

Small business relief effort inundated with 850 applications

The economy in and around Everett has struggled amid fallen revenues and uncertainty about the future.

‘Hundreds of millions’ in bogus jobless benefits paid out

Washington state has been reported as the top target of a Nigerian fraud ring.