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Boeing CEO Ousted For Office Affair

Aerospace giant Boeing, which had been making steady progress in rehabilitating its corporate image after a series of ethics scandals, suffered another shocking setback this morning.

CHICAGO (AP) -- Boeing Co. on Monday said its board forced out president and chief executive officer Harry Stonecipher because of a relationship the married, 69-year-old Stonecipher had with a female executive at the company.

The unexpected ouster makes Stonecipher, who spent just 15 months in the top job, the second consecutive CEO to depart the Chicago-based airplane maker and defense contractor in disgrace

Boeing's Chairman Lew Platt said they received an anonymously tip 10 days ago about Stonecipher office affair . Their investigation determined the relationship was consensual and had no effect on the conduct of the company's business. The investigation also determined that neither the career nor the compensation of the female executive was influenced by this relationship. Commenting on the dismissal, Platt said, "The CEO must set the standard for unimpeachable professional and personal behavior, and the Board determined that this was the right and necessary decision under the circumstances."

Ironically the Air Force gave Boeing a clean bill of health for prior ethics violation last week by dropping a 20 month suspension from bidding on satellite launch contracts. Much of the credit for that decision was the result of the leadership of Stonecipher.

Update: Business Week has identified the female Vice President that Stonecipher was having an affair with as Debra Peabody. CalicoCat has a picture of Peabody culled from a University of Washington Business School marketing brochure.

Comments (16)

Amazing that someone could ... (Below threshold)

Amazing that someone could get to CEO position without learning the old lesson, never dip your pen in company ink!

I've seen too many company romances to believe that it's ever truly innocent or harmless. Somewhere, someone at Boeing is thinking they got screwed out of a promotion cause someone else was screwing the boss. True or not, I know someone is thinking that.

My grandpa used to say it t... (Below threshold)

My grandpa used to say it this way, dodgeman, "The fastest way to screw your business is to stick your dick in it." He was right, but some lessons are best learned the hard way!

Dodgeman may be right about... (Below threshold)

Dodgeman may be right about the rule, which is famous and justified, but the Puritanical morality that is putting its grip on America with the shift to beyond right-wing could just as well be a factor. It's a time for small minds and vendettas. Back to the Middle Ages.

Johnston, take that damn ti... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

Johnston, take that damn tin foil hat off your head. It is just a case of sucking up in the board room. Heard the underling had a tough time dealing with the CEO. She decided to take things in hand, suck it up and swallow..er her...well..er...er..pride.

Has Clinton resigned yet?</... (Below threshold)

Has Clinton resigned yet?

The leftwing lunatics will ... (Below threshold)

The leftwing lunatics will be out if force denouncing Stonecipher and Boeing shouting about his abuse of power. These will be the same leftwing lunatics that supported SICK WILLIE during his numerous affairs and denials and coverups that followed.

The difference is that the board of Boeing acted promptly and appropriately, while the US Senate democrats refused to take action against one of their own. They knew they could get away with this action because the MSM was in bed with them and repeated the deatails to the point the American public simply wanted the issue closed.

I had an office affa... (Below threshold)

I had an office affair and it ruined my life. There is a reason that "Puritanical Morality" exsist and it isn't because some preacher says so. There are consequences to every action and an office affair is no different. Think twice about it before you do something like that. Like I said it ruined my life.

And so was the female fired... (Below threshold)

And so was the female fired also for unprofessional conduct and immorality? Haven't seen that part so far - doesn't it take 2 to tango?

I hope you guys are listeni... (Below threshold)

I hope you guys are listening to beentheredoneit.

Kath I hope you were listen... (Below threshold)

Kath I hope you were listening to Outlaw3

Henry! Would you stop sayin... (Below threshold)

Henry! Would you stop saying my name! There is a reason I go by rightwingsparkle, you know!!!

I don't want Kevin, Jay, or Paul stalking me!...;-)

The sex the consensual... (Below threshold)

The sex the consensual

It is not influence work.

Boeing spokesperson suggests that affairs were permitted at the company, but this one had some details which were potentially embarassing to the company. So what were the details?

Looks like Harry will be still be in pretty good finanical shape.

Do yout thinkt he unnamed "feamle executive" will get an incentive bonus to go quiently?


Yep, there's something more... (Below threshold)

Yep, there's something more to it. I also heard a spokesman on Fox's Cavuto show. When I heard the female is staying on at the company, I ruled out a "Profumo Affair" involving national security. So what does that leave? Paris Hilton-type videos for old folks?

This is not about "Puritani... (Below threshold)

This is not about "Puritanical Morality" or any right wing conspiracy - the laws and ethics in effect here were put in place by one-sided leftist/feminist laws that view any and all male sexuality as criminal - and these same standards hold men alone accountable for such liaisons despite any and all circumstance involved. The liability a man has today when he has a relationship with a woman is huge.

If no discernable negative impact can be determined here - because two consenting adults had enjoyable private relations, it should be of no concern to the company or the courts.

A lifetime of effort and achievement should not be ruined because two adults had some fun together. Where this man puts his dick should not be of concern to the boardroom.

Welcome to the matriarchy. Keep it in your pants boys.

Oddly, the anonymous letter... (Below threshold)
Adam Becker:

Oddly, the anonymous letters went to Boeing legal, ethics and board "10 days previously." Ten days previously was also Boeing's annual "Ethics Recommitment Day." The whole company stood down for half a day to talk about ethical behaviour.

Looks like somebody had been sitting on this knowledge for a while, and the Ethics day moved them to drop a dime on Stonecipher.

Couple of things. I am sixt... (Below threshold)
The Tonemeister:

Couple of things. I am sixty-five and owned a bar for a couple of years after I just turned 21. Being young, stupid and perpetually horny I occasionally violated a cardinal rule of beerjoints, "Keep you peter out of the payroll." Nobody ever used it as a BS way to sue you, but you know damn well they start robbing you blind once you start banging them.
I don't know whether it went beyond a morals clause in his contract or not, this guy should have known better.
Anyway, it ought to make all the right wing family value thumpers happier than hell. But then again, the majority of CEOs, who all have or had adulterous relationships are hopefully shaking in their thousand dollar Italian loafers while explaining to their wives that they would never do such a low thing as the Boeing creep.






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