Boeing names “quality” advisor as fallout over MAX door failure continues to tarnish company’s image


Singapore SA2024Embattled plane maker Boeing said it has named former Admiral Kirkland Donald as special advisor to Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun. The appointment is effective immediately and comes as Boeing is desperately searching for a way to rehabilitate its public image in the aftermath of a “door plug” failure on an Alaska Airlines flight recently.

Donald and a team of outside experts will conduct a thorough assessment of Boeing’s quality management system for commercial airplanes, including quality programs and practices in Boeing manufacturing facilities and its oversight of commercial supplier quality. His recommendations will be provided to Calhoun and to the Aerospace Safety Committee of Boeing’s Board of Directors.

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“Admiral Donald is a recognised leader in ensuring the integrity of some of the most complex and consequential safety and quality systems in the world,” said Calhoun.  “I’ve asked him to provide an independent and comprehensive assessment with actionable recommendations for strengthening our oversight of quality in our own factories and throughout our extended commercial airplane production system.  He and his team will have any and all support he needs from me and from across The Boeing Company.”

Kirkland H. Donald (PHOTO: Boeing)

Donald served as a nuclear trained submarine officer for 37 years. In his last Navy assignment, he served as Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program for eight years, ensuring the safe and effective operation of all nuclear-powered warships and supporting infrastructure. The program is recognised worldwide for excellence in reactor safety and reliability. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the largest military shipbuilding company in the United States, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. He also chairs the board of the nonprofit Battelle. His public board service also includes Entergy Corporation, where he is Chairman of the Nuclear Committee. Donald graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering.


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