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

Barre3 owner Gina Drake leads an exercise class in the Red Barn at 5th Ave S and Maple Street on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2020 in Edmonds, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Barre3 teaches a fitness trifecta for balance during COVID-19

The full-body workouts combine strength conditioning, cardio and mindfulness to help you feel balanced.

An access road leads into plot of land located in north Darrington that could potentially be used to build a 30-acre Wood Innovation Center, which will house CLT manufacturing and modular building companies on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Darrington, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$6 million grant is green light for Darrington timber center

The Darrington Wood Innovation Center is set to become a reality — bringing roughly 150 jobs with it.

Boeing 777 makes emergency landing in Moscow

The plane landed safely and no one was injured.

FILE- In this Oct. 19, 2015, file photo, an airplane flies over a sign at Boeing's newly expanded 737 delivery center at Boeing Field in Seattle. Federal regulators have imposed $5.4 million in civil penalties against Boeing on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, for violating terms of a $12 million settlement in 2015, and the aircraft maker has agreed to pay another $1.21 million to settle two current enforcement cases. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Boeing will pay $6.6 million to settle FAA allegations

The company failed to put adequate priority on complying with regulations.

FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, file photo, a United Airlines Boeing 737 Max airplane takes off in the rain, at Renton Municipal Airport in Renton, Wash. Federal auditors are issuing fresh criticism of the government agency that approved the Boeing 737 Max. The Transportation Department's inspector general said Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, that the Federal Aviation Administration must improve its process for certifying new planes.  (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Federal watchdog blasts FAA over certification of Boeing jet

It will take five years to finish making the Transportation Department’s 14 recommended changes.

Hamburger cheese with beef, salad, tomato and ham isolated on white background.
You voted: The best hamburger in Snohomish County

Even during a pandemic, people still have their favorites.

Boeing’s decorated 787 Dreamliner on display at a celebration for the Boeing Employees Community Fund last year at the Boeing Future of Flight Aviation Center in Mukilteo. (Janice Podsada / Herald file)
Boeing’s deepening 787 inspections risk longer delays

The company will use freed-up space in Everett to inspect and repair the plane’s tiny imperfections.

In this image taken from video, the engine of United Airlines Flight 328 is on fire after after experiencing "a right-engine failure" shortly after takeoff from Denver International Airport, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, in Denver, Colo. The Boeing 777 landed safely and none of the passengers or crew onboard were hurt. (Chad Schnell via AP)
Metal fatigue seen as trigger for Boeing 777 engine failure

A preliminary investigation suggested a crack that grew gradually over time prompted the failure.

Boeing 757 flying to Seattle makes emergency landing

The 16-year-old jetliner was powered by Pratt & Whitney engines.

This Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021 photo provided by Hayden Smith shows United Airlines Flight 328 approaching Denver International Airport, after experiencing "a right-engine failure" shortly after takeoff from Denver. Federal regulators are investigating what caused a catastrophic engine failure on the plane that rained debris on Denver suburbs as the aircraft made an emergency landing. Authorities said nobody aboard or on the ground was hurt despite large pieces of the engine casing that narrowly missed homes below. (Hayden Smith via AP)
Boeing: 777s with engine that blew apart should be grounded

Video showed the engine fully engulfed in flames as the plane flew through the air.

A portion of the site of the proposed Lake Stevens Costco at the intersection of Highway 9 (right) and South Lake Stevens Road (below, out of view). (Chuck Taylor / Herald file)
Legal battle stalls Costco’s planned store in Lake Stevens

“We intend to keep them in court until they get tired of us and go away,” an opponent of the project said.

FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2020, file photo a Boeing 777X airplane takes off on its first flight with the Olympic Mountains in the background at Paine Field in Everett, Wash. Boeing is reporting another huge loss, this one because of a setback to its 777X widebody jetliner. Boeing said Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, it lost $8.4 billion in the fourth quarter on weaker demand for planes during the pandemic. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Boeing says 2 directors are leaving as board faces scrutiny

Arthur Collins Jr. and Susan Schwab won’t stand for reelection at the shareholder meeting in April.