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Dave Calhoun, chief executive of Boeing, is to step down at the end of this year, as part of a series of top-level personnel changes at the embattled US aircraft manufacturer.

Boeing said on Monday that its chair Larry Kellner would also leave the board. He will be replaced by former Qualcomm chief executive Steve Mollenkopf, who will lead the search for Calhoun’s successor.

The changes come as the company grapples with the fallout from an incident in January in which an aircraft door blew out mid-flight. The accident is being investigated by the US Department of Justice and the US Federal Aviation Administration.

In a third significant change, Boeing announced that Stan Deal, head of its commercial aeroplane division, which has been at the centre of the recent crisis gripping the group, will retire immediately. He will be replaced by the company’s chief operating officer, Stephanie Pope.

Calhoun described the January accident on an Alaska Airlines flight as a “watershed moment” for Boeing. In an internal memo to employees, he said the company “must continue to respond to this accident with humility and complete transparency”.

Boeing shares were up more than 3 per cent in pre-market trading on Monday.

Calhoun, who has sat on Boeing’s board since 2009, replaced Dennis Muilenburg as chief executive four years ago in the wake of two crashes involving the 737 Max 8 in 2018 and 2019 that killed a combined 346 people.

The planes had a design flaw affecting the nose, and the company paid more than $2.5bn to defer criminal prosecution by the DoJ for misleading aviation regulators.

This is a developing story

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