When the Boeing Co. board of directors had its first formal meeting about seven weeks after the initial 737 MAX crash in late 2018, directors did not have in-depth discussions about the plane’s safety, according to recently released details from the documents. internal company.
Months later, Boeing’s current chief executive told reporters that company directors had moved quickly to address the accident, according to excerpts from company documents contained in a shareholder lawsuit.
That and other new information in the lawsuit casts doubt on whether Boeing directors pressed management on safety concerns or seriously considered grounding the plane before a second 737 MAX crash in early 2019.
Portions of Boeing’s internal documents, which indicate dates and details of the meetings the directors held and what was discussed, are cited in the shareholders’ action alleging that the directors breached their fiduciary duties in overseeing management. The lawsuit also alleges that David Calhoun, then the senior director who later became CEO, exaggerated to reporters the extent to which the directors addressed safety concerns between and after the two crashes.
The lawsuit alleges that Calhoun, who became CEO in early 2020, conducted a public relations campaign that “insisted that the board acted more urgently and was more engaged than it actually had been” following the two accidents. that killed 346 people in October. 2018 and March 2019. The lawsuit cites internal Boeing emails and other previously non-public documents.