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Boeing Laid Off Supervisor Of Pilots Who Exchanged Inappropriate Emails About Safety

Neer Varshney

The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) fired a mid-level executive after internal documents showing disparaging communication between employees were revealed last month, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

What Happened

The executive Keith Cooper is said to have been fired sometime during the last two months, according to the Journal.

The pilots who referred to the troubled 737 Max as "designed by clowns" and "supervised by monkeys" directly reported to Cooper, the Journal noted.

The internal documents revealed January showed that the staff was aware of the safety vulnerabilities present in the aircraft that has been grounded since March last year but chose to do nothing about it.

"Would you put your family on a MAX simulator trained aircraft? I wouldn't," one of the staff had said in a 2018 email, as previously reported.

Cooper was a vice president for training and professional services in Boeing's global services division, according to the Journal, and didn't send or receive any of the troubling messages himself.

Why It Matters

The documents added trouble for Boeing, which is already struggling to get the Federal Aviation Administration approval for the aircraft line.

At least 346 people died in two fatal crashes involving the 737 Max in Indonesia and Ethiopia before the aircraft was grounded by the regulatory bodies.

Internal audits conducted by Boeing in recent months found additional problems with the aircraft's engine panel and wiring that were previously unknown.

The aircraft isn't expected to be in the air again at least until June this year, Boeing said late last month after its previous estimates fell through.

Price Action

Boeing's shares traded 0.45% lower at $345.90 in the after-hours session on Wednesday. The stock closed the regular session 0.88% higher at $347.45.

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