BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun was paid $32.8 million in 2023

Apr 6, 2024, 5:30 AM

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun received total compensation of $32.8 million for 2023, a 60% increase from ...

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun received total compensation of $32.8 million for 2023, a 60% increase from the $20.5 million he received for 2022. (Aaron Schwartz/NurPhoto/Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

(Aaron Schwartz/NurPhoto/Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

Originally Published: 05 APR 24 16:54 ET
Updated: 05 APR 24 19:50 ET

New York (CNN) — Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun was awarded a giant stock bonus on top of his more-than-a-million-dollar salary last year, despite overseeing a company that has been plagued by chronic losses and safety problems.

Calhoun’s total compensation in 2023 was $32.8 million, a 45% increase from the $22.6 million he received for 2022. And it could have been a lot more: He declined to accept his annual incentive bonus of $2,800,000 – a request the board said he made after part of a Boeing 737 Max plane blew off the side of an Alaska Airlines flight in January, kicking off a series of federal investigations, a temporary grounding, executive ousters and another embarrassing public relations blunder for the company.

Boeing enjoyed improved financial results in 2023 from Calhoun’s first two years running the troubled aircraft manufacturer. It continued to lose money as it has every year since 2019, but it trimmed those losses by 60%, reporting a core operating loss of $1.8 billion. Its stock gained 37% during the year, and it had a record month for new commercial jet orders in December, giving it one of its best sales years ever, as airlines were eager for new jets to meet strong demand for travel.

But after the January 5 door plug blowout, causing a gaping hole in the side of the jet, Boeing’s reputation for safety and quality may have reached an all-time low. A preliminary investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board found that the plane had left a Boeing factory two months before the incident missing the four bolts needed to hold the door plug in place. Calhoun told investors in January that “we caused the problem, and we understand that. Whatever conclusions are reached, Boeing is accountable for what happened.”

Last month, Calhoun announced he would be retiring later this year and that the company had launched a search for a new CEO. Calhoun turns 67 later this month, and Boeing’s board had actually moved back the retirement age for CEOs by five years to keep him in place.

Upon his retirement, Calhoun is set to take home a giant going-away present: a $45 million mix of stock awards and options that vest over time. That’s on top of whatever salary and bonus he may earn this year – although it wouldn’t be surprising if Boeing’s board vastly reduces his 2024 pay, and perhaps his retirement awards, because of the state he has left the company in as CEO.

Boeing did not respond to a request for comment.

Calhoun became CEO in January of 2020, in the midst of a 20-month grounding of the 737 Max that followed two fatal crashes that killed 346 people in late 2018 and early 2019. Almost immediately Boeing and the aviation industry was hit by a near halt in air travel caused by the pandemic, which caused demand for planes to come to a near halt. In April of that year Calhoun suspended his base pay. But stock and other compensation he had already received when taking the job brought his 2020 total compensation to $21.7 million. It climbed slowly steadily in the two subsequent years, bringing his total compensation to $64.6 million heading into 2023.

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Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun was paid $32.8 million in 2023