Black Boeing Execs With Good Safety Records Survive Shakeup of Boeing Leadership

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Kevin A. Thompson
March 26, 2024

Photo: C-17 Globemaster, built by Boeing and used by many militaries, has production supervised by Black Boeing Engineer and CEO of Boeing Defense Ted Colbert III. Photo by Airman First Class Christian Silvera, Wikimedia Commons

Three top Boeing Executives are leaving their posts due to mishaps with Boeing 737 planes.

Stan Deal, and CEO and President of the Boeing Commercial Airplane Division has retired “effective immediately” on March 25, 2024. He is being replaced by Stephanie Pope, who has been Boeing’s Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President.

Larry Kelner, Chairman of Boeing’s Board of Directors, will not stand for re-election at the next shareholder’s meeting. In his place will be Steve Mollenkopf, who had been a CEO of Qualcomm.

David L. Calhoun, Boeing President at CEO, will remain until the end of the year, then he’s out too.

Boeing’s Executive Board has 21 members listed on their website, which still shows Deal and Calhoun as of today, March 26, 2024.

Three Black men also appear on Boeing's Executive Board, and their jobs seem secure for now. Possibly because the planes they build aren’t crashing at nearly the same rate as the 737.

Howard McKenzie is Boeing’s Chief Engineer, and Executive Vice President of Engineering, Test and Technology. His greatest claim to fame is that the plane he supervised for years, the 777, is the safest large plane in the world. The exact opposite of the 737, which has been grounded, again, worldwide.
William A. Ampofo II is head of Parts and Service Distribution, getting repair parts to airlines, all over the world, who buy Boeing planes. He worked with the 777 for several years.
Theodore (Ted) Colbert III is President and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security Operations. He graduated with a couple of Engineering Degrees from a dual program with Morehouse (an HBCU) and Georgia Institute of Technology.

Like Howard McKenzie, who won the Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) in 2019, Colbert won the BEYA in 2022.

Just this month, the US Space force announced Boeing as the contractor for a tenth communications satellite, and the concluded production of the C-17 transport plane, both of which are in the division under Ted Colbert’s management. The C-17 Globemaster has had no fatal incident since 2010, when Boeing took over production of the plane from McDonnel-Douglas.

Neither McKenzie, Ampofo nor Colbert were picked to replace the departing execs. However, considering their excellent records with the 777 and the C-17, they might be happy where they are.  



Patrick Smith and Rob Wile, “Boeing CEO, Other Executives Stepping Down Amid Safety Crisis,”, March 25, 2024,

“Boeing Announces Board and Management Changes,” press release, Boeing Media Room,

Boeing Company Executive Bios,,

“U.S. Space Force Awards Boeing WGS-12 Communications Satellite Production Contract,” March 6, 2024,

“Boeing fulfils U.S. Air Force C-17 Production Contract with 223rd Delivery,” September 13, 2013,