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737 Max chief to retire; NMA VP to take over

The head of the troubled Boeing 737 programme, Eric Lindblad, will be retiring, less than a year after assuming the role.

Replacing Lindbald is Mark Jenks, vice president of Boeing’s New Mid-market (NMA) programme. Jenks previously oversaw the 787 programme.

“[Jenks] will leverage his learnings and expertise for our 737 programme as we carefully and fully return the 737 Max to service and meet our customer commitments,” says Boeing, responding to FlightGlobal’s queries.

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The leadership change comes at a critical juncture for the airframer’s narrowbody programme, which has been mired in crisis following two fatal crashes.

The beleaguered 737 Max is the subject of an ongoing grounding worldwide, after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8. That crash followed the October 2018 crash of a Lion Air 737 Max 8. The accidents killed a combined 346 people.

Lindblad’s retirement is not related to the Max's issues. Boeing tells FlightGlobal that the 34-year veteran had expressed his intentions to retire in 2018.

Lindblad’s departure from the 737 programme makes him the second person to leave the role in a span of two years. Lindblad took over as head of the narrowbody programme in August 2018 from Scott Campbell, who himself retired.

The news of Lindblad’s retirement comes as the airframer reported a slowdown in its Q2 orders and deliveries.

From March to June, it booked 13 aircraft — four 737s and nine widebodies. This was much lower than the 277 orders it received during the same period a year ago.

Boeing's second quarter aircraft deliveries tumbled to 90 aircraft – less than half the 194 it delivered in the same period last year.

Story updated on 15 July to correct Eric Lindblad's name.

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