Boeing CEO Grilled by Senators, Family Members of Victims During Tense Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A heated Senate hearing unfolded Tuesday afternoon as lawmakers grilled Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun. The hearing comes as the airplane manufacturer continues to draw intense scrutiny over compliance concerns and cutting corners. 

“The only way to course correct is to face the truth and confront the need for action,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D- CT). 

“I don’t recognize any of the Boeing you described,” said Calhoun responding to Sen. Josh Hawley (R- MO) during a heated exchange 

“Really? You don’t recognize the Boeing that has airplanes falling out of the sky, that has had two MAXs crash, that has had pieces of doors fall out of the sky,” Hawley replied. 

Hawley grilled Calhoun on his roughly $32.8 million salary, which Calhoun confirmed is an increase of 45% over the last year. Hawley blasted Calhoun for the company’s safety record during his time leading the company. 

“You’re focused on exactly what you were hired to do, which is that you’re cutting corners, you are eliminating safety procedures, you are sticking it to your employees, you are cutting back jobs because you’re trying to squeeze every piece of profit you can out of this company. You’re strip mining it,” said Hawley. 

Multiple Boeing whistleblowers have recently come forward with serious concerns regarding inspections and quality. 

“We’re taking comprehensive action to strengthen safety and quality,” said Calhoun.  

Many family members of victims that were killed in two 737 crashed in 2018 and 2019 held pictures of their loved ones behind Calhoun during the hearing. Many are demanding accountability, transparency and even legal action against. 

“How could you,” one family member shouted during the hearing. 

“He was aware of all the design defects. He was one of the head decision makers to put the plane in the air, to keep the plane in the air,” said Adnaan Stumo, the brother of 24-year-old Samya Stumo who was one of 157 killed when a Boeing 737 Max flown by Ethiopian Airlines crashed in 2019. “He is a mass killer,” Stumo added. 

Calhoun, who will step down as CEO at the end of the year, took responsibility for a growing list of flaws and apologized to the families of two 737 MAX crashes. 

“I apologize for the grief we have caused,” said Calhoun.