Boeing has reportedly ousted the boss of the pilots who lambasted the troubled 737 MAX jet in internal messages — including one saying the plane was “designed by clowns.”
The aerospace giant fired Keith Cooper, a former vice president for training and professional services who supervised the pilots behind the embarrassing messages that Boeing handed over to lawmakers, news reports say.
Cooper left his Boeing gig sometime within the past couple of months even though he did not receive or send the messages, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported on his dismissal Wednesday. Cooper had been in the job since 2017, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday morning.
In one of the messages at issue, an employee said the 737 MAX — which was grounded last March following two crashes that killed 346 people — “was designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys.”
The names of the employees who authored the messages were redacted when they were made public.
The damning messages came to light in January following the December ouster of former Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg. His replacement, chief executive David Calhoun, has reportedly called them “totally appalling” as he tries to restore confidence in the planemaker.
“Awareness in the leadership ranks around whether that’s happening or not is not an excuse if it’s happening,” Calhoun told reporters last month, according to the Journal. “Disciplinary actions have to be taken.”