If you haven’t been following the tragic-comedy saga of the Boeing jet plane crashes, please allow me to bring you up to speed.
Boeing—basically a plane-making monopoly in the U.S.—boasted that its 737 MAX jet plane was the fastest-selling airplane in its history, with about 5,000 orders from more than 100 customers worldwide. The hype did not live up to expectations and the reality was the loss of lives.
After two plane crashes that killed over 300 passengers, an aborted mission to the International Space Station and a recalcitrant attitude, Dennis Muilenburg, the CEO of Boeing, was summarily fired.
There were allegations that executives knew or should have known about issues with the jet regarding software problems and lack of adequate pilot training. The company stood accused by a hostile Congress, the media and anyone who has an IQ higher than 50 that they should have taken appropriate measures to ensure safety. Muilenburg was dragged before Congress to explain what happened. In a world record of bad public relations and epitomizing the caricature of the cold-bolded, sociopathic, out-of-touch CEO, Muilenburg said, “We don’t ‘sell’ safety; that’s not our business model.”
Despite all this, Muilenburg was going to walk away from the wreck with a roughly $60 million golden parachute.
In a sick, twisted stroke of fate, a different make of Boeing plane exploded in midair at the time that Iran was shooting missiles into Iraqi/U.S. military bases. As it turned out, an Iranian general mistakenly shot down the plane killing hundreds of passengers. Boeing executives must have been put into an awkward spot—happy that it wasn’t their fault, but feeling terrible over what happened.
If this is not a sufficiently dreadful story, newly released emails from Boeing employees made some incendiary comments. They brazenly bragged about pulling the wool over the eyes of the FAA regulators and mocked the safety of the planes.
Here are some lovely examples:
“This airplane is designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys.”
“I still haven’t been forgiven by God for the covering up I did last year.”
“Would you put your family on a Mac simulator trained aircraft? I wouldn’t,” one employee emailed a colleague. “No,” the co-worker responded.
I know you are thinking, “What will happen to poor CEO Dennis Muilenburg? I hope he is okay!” Don’t worry! As of last Friday, Muilenburg left the Boeing with about $80 million in stock options and other assets. The company would like you to know that he did not receive any severance, so he’ll have to make due with the small payout. Please don’t research how much the families of the passengers who perished received; it will make you even more furious.