On March 16, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley sent a letter to the CEO of Boeing, as well as the chairman of the board, announcing her resignation from the board of directors.
Nikki Haley resigns from Boeing board because she opposes a federal bailout.
“I cannot support a move to lean on the federal government for a stimulus or bailout that prioritizes our company over others and relies on taxpayers to guarantee our financial position.” pic.twitter.com/ngnGQWG79j
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) March 19, 2020
Haley has served on the Boeing board for almost a year, having joined in April 2019.
The full text of Haley’s resignation letter reads:
I have had the pleasure of working with Boeing for almost ten years now. As South Carolina governor I came to know the quality of the company, but more importantly, the excellence of the Boeing team and workforce. When I was asked to join the Board of Directors, there was no better team I could think of being a part of.
As Boeing has gone through the difficulties of the MAX, I have appreciated the humility and transparency shown by the team to make sure that when the MAX is back in the air, it will be the safest, strongest plane ever flown.
As we encounter the COVID-19 crisis, Boeing, along with many other companies, face another major set of challenges. I want to be part of helping the company as it pushes through it. However, the board and executive team are going in a direction I cannot support.
While I know cash is tight, that is equally true for numerous other industries and for millions of small businesses. I cannot support a move to lean on the federal government for a stimulus or bailout that prioritizes our company over others and relies on taxpayers to guarantee our financial position. I have long held strong convictions that this is not the role of government.
I strongly believe that when one is part of a team, and one cannot in good faith support the direction of the team, then the proper thing to do is to resign. As such, I hereby resign my position from the Boeing Board.
I hope you all know that I will continue to be a strong supporter of Boeing and its workforce. All of you have taught me so much over the past year. Serving with each and every one of you has been a privilege. I value the friendships I have made with all of you.
If I can ever be of help or service to the Boeing team in the future, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to badly damage the economy, several industries have requested money from the federal government, including Boeing, which, aside from coronavirus-induced economic harm, is suffering from a major hit after the grounding of their 737 MAX jets in March 2019 following two fatal crashes.
President Trump recently noted his support for the aerospace company, saying: “Obviously when the airlines aren’t doing well then Boeing is not going to be doing well. So we’ll be helping Boeing.”
In an official statement dated March 17, Boeing said it “supports a minimum of $60 billion in access to public and private liquidity.”
Boeing supports a minimum of $60 billion in access to public and private liquidity, including loan guarantees, for the aerospace manufacturing industry. This will be one of the most important ways for airlines, airports, suppliers and manufacturers to bridge to recovery. Funds would support the health of the broader aviation industry, because much of any liquidity support to Boeing will be used for payments to suppliers to maintain the health of the supply chain. The long term outlook for the industry is still strong, but until global passenger traffic resumes to normal levels, these measures are needed to manage the pressure on the aviation sector and the economy as a whole.