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Boeing’s CEO stands by his safety record, clashes with senators, and offers apologies to relatives of crash victims

Dave Calhoun apologizes to the families of victims (Via Melvin West/Shutterstock)

Boeing CEO David Calhoun defended the company’s safety record in a heated Senate hearing on Tuesday, where lawmakers accused him of prioritizing profits over safety, failing to protect whistleblowers, and receiving excessive compensation.

Families of those who perished in two crashes involving Boeing 737 Max jets were present, some holding photographs of their loved ones, serving as a poignant reminder of the human toll. Calhoun began his remarks by standing and addressing the families directly, apologizing “for the grief that we have caused” and pledging a renewed commitment to safety.

Calhoun’s appearance marked Boeing’s first high-ranking official’s testimony before Congress since a 737 Max experienced an incident during an Alaska Airlines flight in January, renewing concerns about the safety of Boeing’s popular commercial aircraft.

Earlier in the day, the Senate investigations subcommittee released a detailed 204-page report with fresh allegations from a whistleblower.

Boeing CEO David Calhoun (Via Melvin West/Shutterstock)

This whistleblower, among others, has raised alarms about potential flaws in Boeing’s manufacturing processes, currently under federal scrutiny.

Subcommittee Chairman Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut characterized the hearing as a moment of accountability, describing Boeing as a once-iconic company that had lost its way.

Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri squarely criticized Calhoun, alleging that since assuming the CEO role in January 2020, he had prioritized financial results at the expense of safety measures and employee welfare.

Hawley’s impassioned remarks accused Boeing of cutting corners, reducing safety protocols, and focusing excessively on profitability, which he likened to “strip-mining” the company.

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