Boeing appoints new president for Southeast Asia

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Boeing has named Penny Burtt as the new president of the company’s Southeast Asia business, effective July 3.

She will be based in Singapore and oversee the company’s strategy and operations as Boeing goes on expansion mode in the region. Burtt is also poised to take on the directorial role and chair of Boeing Singapore Pte. Ltd. and the president director of PT. Boeing Indonesia as well.

“We are excited to have Penny join Boeing as she brings a strong combination of diplomatic and business skills through her 25 years in the private and public sectors across the region,” said Brendan Nelson AO, President of Boeing Global.

Boeing has partnered with stakeholders in the Southeast Asia for over 75 years, building aerospace and defense capabilities in the region with offices in Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

The region is also one of the world’s fastest-growing commercial airplane markets.

“I am delighted to join Boeing and lead our efforts in Southeast Asia, a dynamic region I’ve dedicated much of my career to,” Burtt said.

“Encompassing ten countries and nearly 700 million people, I look forward to expanding Boeing’s presence in this key market.”

Embattled Planemaker Grilled at US Senate

Meanwhile, in the States, Boeing’s Chief Executive Dave Calhoun faced a grilling from US senators about the company’s culture.

Calhoun had testified on Tuesday to the US Congress that the company had “learned” from past mistakes.

The US company most recently came to spotlight after a door panel fell of a new 737 Max plane during an Alaska Airlines flight in January.

As part of an ongoing investigation, Boeing whistleblowers told the US Senate in April that the 737 Max, the 787 Dreamliner and the 777 models had serious production issues.

Calhoun, who became CEO in 2020 and plans to leave later in 2024, told the Senate sub-committee that some problems come from an “untrained workforce”.

He acknowledged that “something went wrong” at Boeing after another whistleblower came forward alleged Boeing cut corners on its production line.

At the Senate hearing, Calhoun and Boeing executives were accused of “strip mining” the company for profits as well.

During a US Senate hearing on June 18, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun apologizes to relatives of victims of Boeing 737 Max crashes in 2018 and 2019 claiming the lives of 346 people | Photo: AP

“You’re cutting corners, you’re eliminating safety procedures, you’re sticking it to your employees. It’s working out great for you,” said Josh Hawley, a Republican senator.

There have been a string of Boeing employees coming forward with testimonies related to bypassing safety measures. One quality assurance inspector for the company in Renton, Washington – the latest Boeing employee to go public with safety issue claims – alleged he was instructed by his supervisors to conceal evidence from regulators.

At the recent Senate hearing, Calhoun apologized to the families of the victims of two Boeing plane crashes, in 2018 and 2019, claiming the lives of 346 people.

“I apologize for the grief we have caused, and I want you to know we are totally committed to [the victims’] memory,” Calhoun said.

Boeing has now delivered a quality improvement plan to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and claimed that employees have been “emboldened to come forward with safety and quality concerns”.

Several family members of the two plane crash victims said they hoped criminal charges would be filed against the company.

Meanwhile, the head of the International Air Transport and Association (IATA) earlier said that the next CEO of Boeing should “have an understanding of what led to its current crisis” and be prepared to look outside for best industrial practices.


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