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Management Shakeup at Boeing: Will It Be Enough to Lift off Stock Price?

Carolane de Palmas | Tuesday 26 March 2024

In addition to facing increasing airline competition, the iconic American planemaker Boeing (BA) has recently been battered by a series of crises that ended up yesterday (March 25th, 2024) with the announcement of changes in the company's management. 

Is it going to be enough to stop the fall of Boeing stock prices? Let's have a closer look:

aerospace stock charts iillustration

Next Chapter for Boeing in 2024 with 3 Leadership Changes

The company announced 3 major changes in its management on March 25th, 2024:

  1. CEO Departure: Dave Calhoun, who was Boeing’s CEO over the past four years after Dennis Muilenburg, has decided to step down at the end of 2024.

  2. Board Chair Change: Larry Kellner, who has been on Boeing’s Board for 13 years and the Board's chair since late 2019, will not seek re-election. Steve Mollenkopf, a current board member since 2020 and former CEO of Qualcomm (QCOM), will take over as the new independent chair. As such, he will oversee the search for Boeing's next CEO.

  3. Commercial Airplanes Leadership Shift: Stan Deal, head of Boeing's commercial airplanes business (BCA), is retiring. Stephanie Pope, previously a high-ranking Boeing executive, has been appointed to lead this critical division. She was Chief Operating Officer of Boeing from January 2024. Before that, she was also the President and Chief Executive Officer of Boeing Global Services and the Chief Financial Officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Boeing's Board Makeover: Can it Restore Confidence in the Iconic Planemaker?

Over the past few years, Boeing seems to have prioritized short-term financial returns for shareholders over long-term investments in safety and quality. Between 2013 and 2019, the company spent over $43 billion on share buybacks, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, partially financed by cost-cutting measures within its aircraft programs.

While these financial strategies may have boosted short-term profits, they likely have also contributed to the recent safety issues that have plagued the company, as some believe that Boeing's focus on shareholder returns has come at the expense of safety and quality.

Boeing's relatively recent troubles began in October 2018, with the tragic Lion Air crash, followed by the Ethiopian Airlines disaster in March 2019. These events, coupled with the global COVID-19 pandemic outbreak that began in March 2020, significantly eroded public confidence in Boeing's aircraft and pushed its stock price lower.

These ongoing issues continue to cast a shadow over Boeing's reputation and the company's manufacturing, outsourcing, and quality control practices are likely to need further reevaluation, which could be initiated by new management. While some experts advocate for the appointment of an engineering leader well-versed in these domains as an initial step toward cultural transformation, a mere restructuring of management may not be enough.

Boeing Technical Snapshot of 2024: March 26th, 2024

Boeing's price chart on 26032024

Since January 2024, Boeing (BA) shares have been trading in a bear market. They are down 25.78% since the beginning of the year, from $258.95 on January 2nd, 2024 to $192.19 on March 25th, 2024. They reached their lowest level since October 2023 at $178.21 on March 18th, 2024.

On Thursday 21st, 2024, the German Bank Deutsche Bank (DBK) reduced the price target of Boeing to $240 from $285 with a “Buy rating”. On Monday 25th, 2024, the American bank JPMorgan (JPM) also lowered its price target on the aerospace company to $230 from $270 with an “overweight rating”.

Conclusion

Several incidents involving Boeing's planes seem to have recently shaken public trust and weighed on the company's stock price. While Boeing's board of directors has undergone a shakeup, some traders and analysts might be wondering if these management changes can help restore confidence in Boeing. 

The success of the new board in restoring passengers, clients, and investors' confidence will depend on its ability to address safety concerns, improve production quality, and regain trust through transparency and accountability. Boeing's path to recovery remains unclear, so traders should buckle up for a potentially volatile journey.


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