Boeing named a retired Navy admiral as a special adviser on matters including quality of work done at suppliers as the aircraft maker responds to a midflight blowout aboard one of its planes this month.
Boeing CEO David Calhoun said he asked Kirkland Donald to a team that will make recommendations to improve oversight of quality in the company's factories and those of its suppliers.
Before retiring from the military, Donald was the director of the Navy’s nuclear-propulsion program for eight years. He is chairman of shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries.
The retired admiral's appointment was announced a day after the company said it would increase quality inspections on its Boeing 737 Max 9 planes following an accident on an Alaska Airlines jet. A plug used to fill a spot for an emergency exit blew out while the plane flew over Oregon on Jan. 5.
The inspections come after Federal regulators grounded most Max 9 jets, including all those used by Alaska and United Airlines. A Boeing official said Monday it is “clear that we are not where we need to be” on quality assurance and controls.
The door plug that blew off the Alaska jet was installed by a supplier, Spirit AeroSystems, and is being examined by the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the accident.
Boeing 737 and 787 jets have been plagued in recent years by several manufacturing problems that have interrupted delivery of new planes to airlines.