Boeing was once a home-grown Seattle airplane manufacturing company dominated by engineers. Now, Boeing is run from Chicago by executives whose top priority in recent years has been transforming the company into a very attractive Wall Street product with an ever-rising share price and a stream of cash that flows into generous dividends for investors. While stockholders have been rewarded, employees have seen their pensions eliminated even as the demands of their work have increased to the point of exhaustion.
Crucially, the influence of engineers has sharply decreased as the executives have speeded up production while showing impatience with safety concerns that could slow down the process of getting airplanes into the sky. The big question now is whether this change in the corporate culture played a role in the two recent deadly crashes of Boeing 737 MAX airliners. Were corners cut in the rush to get the airplanes to market?
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