Boeing has announced the departure of the vice president of its troubled 737 MAX programme, and general manager of its Renton factory, Ed Clark amid its attempts to regain trust following a series of quality control issues leading to delayed aircraft deliveries and a door plug blow out. 

The US aircraft manufacturer revealed Clark’s departure in an email sent to employees by Boeing Commercial Airlines (BCA) CEO Stan Deal. The email also noted the appointment of Katie Ringgold, current VP of 737 delivery operations, as Clark’s replacement. 

Clark’s exit from the company, which some have suggested was not voluntary, comes weeks after a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) preliminary report found that the 737 MAX 9 plane involved in the door plug blow out incident during an Alaska Airlines flight was likely missing key bolts when it left the Renton factory in Washington, US. 

Clark had been with Boeing for 18 years and was first brought in to oversee the 737 MAX programme in 2021. The model returned to service after two fatal accidents involving 737 MAXs in five months led to the grounding of the entire worldwide fleet before Clark’s appointment.

In addition to the change of leadership at the programme, Deal’s email also revealed that Elizabeth Lund would be appointed to the newly created position of senior VP for BCA Quality, with Mike Fleming stepping into her previous role as senior VP and general manager of airplane programmes. 

Deal said that the changes came “As we continue driving BCA’s enhanced focus on ensuring that every airplane we deliver meets or exceeds all quality and safety requirements. Our customers demand, and deserve, nothing less.” 

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The changes are just the latest step taken by Boeing to address concerns around its 737 MAX programme, which was also hit by delivery delays after the discovery of mis-drilled holes, including increased quality inspections and invitation to 737 operators to oversee its factories.