Annual Meeting, Virtual
David L. Calhoun
President and Chief Executive Officer
The Boeing Company
April 29, 2022
Thank you, Larry, both for the introduction and for your leadership of our board.
Welcome to all of you joining us today.
Like Larry, I want to begin by extending my deepest condolences on behalf of all of the Boeing associates for the loss of those on-board China Eastern Airlines Flight MU 5735.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family members and loved ones of the passengers and crew.
We will continue to support our airline customer, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Civil Aviation Administration of China, who will lead the investigation.
The aviation industry has a rigorous, collaborative and fact-based process that we will support every step of the investigation.
Now I’ll turn to the war in Ukraine, which is also a tragic situation, and which we are monitoring closely.
As a global company with more than a century in flight and a long legacy of advancing human freedom around the world, Boeing has successfully operated in challenging and volatile environments, and we will continue to do so, always guided by our values.
The safety of our 1,100 employees in Ukraine is at the forefront of our thoughts and we will support them in every way possible.
We also support the people of Ukraine during this tragic time. We have contributed to humanitarian groups offering food, shelter and medical care to displaced Ukrainians, and we are also matching donations made by our Boeing associates.
I’m especially proud of our Boeing teammates in Poland and other countries, who have selflessly opened their homes to displaced Ukrainian employees and their families to ensure they have safety, they have shelter and supplies.
In addition, we are following the lead of the U.S. government. We are strictly adhering to export controls and restrictions as a baseline, and are also taking additional actions.
We have suspended engineering support, flight training and customer operations, as well as parts delivery and maintenance support services for Russian customers.
Separately, we have also halted the importation of titanium from Russia.
Our operations are well positioned to maintain production continuity due to mitigating actions we’ve taken to ensure that we have sufficient titanium inventory and alternative sourcing for Boeing and for members of our supply chain.
The conflict in Ukraine has reinforced Boeing’s purpose to protect, connect and explore the world. Our products play a key role in defending freedom, supporting those in harm’s way, enabling humanitarian relief, deterring threats and advancing global security. We are proud to serve in this role and understand the gravity and significance of this work around the world.
Turning to the business, 2021 was another year of rebuilding and strengthening for Boeing.
We’ve overcome hurdles and reached key milestones across our commercial, defense and services portfolios.
The world collectively navigated the challenges of a second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, reacting to new variants of the virus, working through federal and local regulations, and helping in the distribution of vaccines.
Along with most in the aerospace, travel and tourism industries, Boeing continues to recover.
The commercial market is improving, particularly in domestic markets, and in many regional markets with the anticipation of long-haul international routes to follow.
Our industry outlook is very strong with future growth contingent on supply, not demand, making Boeing ideally situated with a competitive product lineup to meet near- and longer-term market needs.
We have a strong growth business in aerospace and one that will continue to create shareholder value in the years and decades to come. The actions we are taking today will be very important to our future success.
Operationally, we are focused on leading with safety, quality, integrity and sustainability in everything that we do and engaging our stakeholders and each other with transparency and accountability.
We’ve embodied this approach on the 737 MAX program by following a rigorous and methodical process to safely return the 737 MAX to service, while partnering with our customers and following the lead of our regulators.
We believe we are making progress on this important program. Since the ungrounding in late 2020, a little more than a year ago…
- 189 countries have allowed the 737 MAX to resume service or fly within its airspace;
- The 737 MAX fleet has safely flown more than 1 million flight hours with greater than 99% schedule reliability;
- We have delivered more than 370 MAX airplanes, and have steadily increased production with a focus on safety and quality;
- Demand has accelerated, and we have booked 990 gross orders since the ungrounding;
- And recently, Ethiopian Airlines returned their MAX airplanes to service – a significant milestone in our journey to rebuilding trust.
Looking back at where we started, 2021 was a pivotal year for the 737 team – and I’m very proud of the progress we’ve made together.
We’re applying the same disciplined and detailed focus to the 787 program as we have on the MAX. We are working through a rigorous process to ensure every airplane in our production system conforms to our exacting specifications.
We have submitted our 787 certification plan to the FAA, and have completed the work on the initial airplanes and are conducting Boeing check flights as we speak. We will follow the lead of the FAA and let the process determine the timing.
While this rigorous process over these last several quarters has impacted our deliveries and our financial results, it is the right thing to do. The work we’re putting in now will increase stability and predictability going forward. We remain confident in the future success of the 787. It’s performance in the field over the course of the COVID pandemic was second to none in the widebody market.
We have successfully launched our 777-8 Freighter program, with our partner Qatar Airways, as cargo demand continues to grow. And on the 777-9 program, while the airplane is progressing well in development and testing, we adjusted our first delivery timing to 2025 based on an updated assessment of the time required to meet the certification requirements.
Our customers continue to see the value in the airplane’s compelling economics and sustainability benefits.
Airplane programs serve our markets for several decades. The 777X is meant to serve in a post 747/A380 world – so it is important we take the time now to position it for its long-term success.
Within our Defense, Space & Security business we continue to see solid and stable demand. We have a strong product portfolio and our future franchise programs have a long runway ahead.
That said, supply chain constraints, COVID-19 disruption and inflationary pressures have added cost pressure on our fixed price development programs. We’re navigating through these challenges and are focused on improving our performance as we mature these programs and transition to production and follow on contracts. We are making progress, but have a lot more work to do.
Earlier this month, we announced Leanne Caret will be retiring from Boeing later this year. I’d like to recognize and thank Leanne for her dedicated service and contributions over her extraordinary 35-year career at Boeing.
Ted Colbert, who succeeds Leanne as Boeing Defense, Space & Security CEO, is an exceptional leader, ideally suited to lead the defense and space business forward with a focus on program execution and innovation.
I also want to highlight Stephanie Pope, who succeeds Ted as our CEO of Boeing Global Services. Stephanie is a phenomenal leader with a deep understanding of the global services portfolio from her time as Chief Financial Officer during the unit’s inception.
Stephanie takes the helm of an already strong business.
Global Services has largely recovered from the most severe impacts of COVID-19 and has demonstrated resilience and adaptability. As the market recovers, our balanced portfolio of both commercial and government services is well positioned for growth.
Taking a step back… these last few years have been transformative at Boeing and I’d like reflect for a minute on how we have changed.
We vowed to never forget the Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accidents, and we never will. They will always remind us of our responsibility to ensure an unwavering focus on safety, quality, integrity and transparency in everything we do.
I often get asked if Boeing has a safety culture. The answer is yes. It’s always been yes. Safety absolutely requires culture, but it requires so much more. It requires organization. It requires a set of disciplines. It requires a systematic approach to collecting data from everywhere at all times, and to make sense out of that data so that we can improve our products. And it requires the humility needed to listen to and incorporate outside perspectives.
It’s more than just a desire to be safe. It’s more than just a commitment to put safety ahead of operational goals.
It is a set of organizing principles that is real work. It is real engineering. It is real program management, real systems management. All of the above, and a network of participants that extends beyond traditional company boundaries.
Boundaries can typically get in the way of being really good at synchronizing information and action. We cannot afford boundaries in our industry. Suppliers have to talk to their assemblers and manufacturers, who have to talk to operators and maintenance organizations, regulators and beyond. All of them count. No boundary can get in our way. So, yes, culture matters, but it’s more than culture. It’s a lot of hard work, it’s every day…it’s all day.
At Boeing, we’ve made profound and fundamental changes to our company at every layer and level to improve this type of safety ecosystem – and I’m proud of our progress.
Some key actions include…
- The board of directors formed an Aerospace Safety Committee to increase the effectiveness of its oversight of safety in all aspects of our operations. The board has also brought on additional independent directors with deep safety, engineering, piloting and manufacturing experience.
- On our Executive Council, our management executive council, we established a Chief Aerospace Safety Officer position, and a team in 2021 that aligns critical safety functions under one organization, designed to be separate from day-to-day business operations, maintaining a higher-level focus on safety and driving end-to-end accountability throughout our safety ecosystem.
- We brought together more than 50,000 engineering teammates into a single, integrated organization to increase transparency, increase our collaboration and increase accountability, while strengthening engineering design practices and decision making.
- And we launched our four enterprise-wide operations councils focused on enhancing quality, manufacturing, supply chain and program management for each and every program.
- We are also advancing our enterprise-wide Safety Management System built on timely data, analysis and insights to embed safety in every aspect of how we design, how we build and support our products and our services. And we’re driving the same focus now within our Quality Management System.
- We also committed to promoting a Just Culture grounded in humility, inclusion and transparency that protects and treats people fairly and encourages the reporting of safety, quality and compliance concerns.
- As part of our efforts, we have rolled out new reporting tools, launched new efforts to further enable compliant company performance and introduced our Seek, Speak & Listen habits to foster openness and transparency in all of our employee interactions.
- We also incorporated product safety, employee safety and quality metrics into our primary annual incentive structures, further driving our focus on safety and quality across the enterprise at every level of the organization.
I am very proud of the actions we’ve taken, but we are not done. We will never be done improving. Meaningful change takes time, it takes courage and a commitment to doing what is right. We are making progress — one task, one delivery, one engagement at a time.
We are a long-cycle business, and the transformation we’re on will be measured in years and decades; not quarters. The deliberate actions we’re taking now will drive stability in our operations and better position us for long-term, sustainable performance our shareholders and our customers demand.
And looking to the future, we are increasing investments in key areas of safety, key areas of producibility, digital transformation, autonomy, sustainable aerospace, and global talent and culture.
This includes investing billions this year in Research & Development, in CapEx and in our people.
Despite a challenging environment, we are also making steady, disciplined progress on our current development programs including the 737 MAX-10, 737 MAX-7, our 777X, the T-7A, the MQ-25 and many more.
Key to our long-term success will be advancing sustainability, including the advancement of environmental stewardship, social progress and values-based, transparent governance.
Our commercial and defense customers around the globe are committing to bold climate change ambitions, and we’ll be right there with them as we act, together.
We envision by 2050 air travel will carry more than 10 billion passengers a year, it will generate nearly $9 trillion in economic activity and support 180 million jobs.
Across the industry, it’s our job to ensure we enable that growth and preserve the benefits of aerospace, both safely and sustainably with reduced emissions.
We support our commercial industry’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and continue to partner across the sector to decarbonize through fleet renewal, operational efficiencies, renewable energy transition and advanced technologies.
In terms of more near-term ambitions, we have committed to delivering commercial airplanes that will be capable of flying 100% on Sustainable Aviation Fuels by 2030.
We are also partnering across the industry on new technologies that will advance the future of flight. This includes our investment in Wisk on a 6th generation electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft.
We’ll share additional details on our progress in our next Sustainability Report later this year.
And to reinforce the importance of our work in sustainability and diversity, beginning this year we’ve expanded our annual incentive structure to include metrics incentivizing our employees to contribute to our success in the areas of climate and equity, diversity and inclusion.
Over the last year, we have made progress on these goals and have seen first-hand how they make us better.
Our second annual Global Equity, Diversity and Inclusion report, released this month, shows that compared to last year’s report, women and racial/ethnic minority representation has increased overall.
In addition, for each quarter in 2021, our relatively low exit rates for women, men, and teammates of all races were within one point of each other – an improvement compared to 2020 with an exit rate for women lower than that for men.
We are committed to transparency as we make progress toward our equity, diversity and inclusion goals.
This work is a business imperative because diversity and inclusion are critical drivers of quality, safety and innovation. And quite frankly, every important thing we do is better with an inclusive and diverse culture.
Across Boeing, we are committed to investing in our teams’ career development, providing industry-leading benefits and fostering a culture of care where all teammates can enjoy a great career within our company.
Our people have an opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the world. The technologies and products we create and the services we provide protect freedoms, they connect the globe and advance scientific discovery.
As we advance new technologies, we’re also advancing our culture, we’re strengthening the ways we work together and ensuring everyone has a voice.
And as we hire new engineers, scientists, mechanics, quality professionals and safety experts, we look forward to welcoming new colleagues to our world-class team.
I would like to conclude today by thanking all Boeing employees, our associates around the world. We have been through a few challenging years, but you have continued to bring your best to Boeing every day. Your resilience, your professionalism and your expertise inspires me and inspires our customers.
We are taking productive steps to rebuild trust, drive stability and position the company for growth. Because of you, I am confident in our future. I am proud to be on your team and look forward to defining our next chapter, together.
Thank you, that concludes my CEO report, and I look forward to taking questions.