In a statement, Boeing Co said, veteran lobbyist and political strategist Tim Keating, who helped navigate the company through its worst-ever crisis following the fatal 737 MAX crashes, has left the company.
An internal memo from Boeing’s CEO Dave Calhoun to government operations employees, as well as a separate statement by Boeing to the media confirmed Keating’s departure from the company.
The planemaker did not offer any explanation or details on Keating’s abrupt exit. He will be replaced by Marc Allen, Boeing’s chief strategy officer, until a permanent replacement is found, said Calhoun.
According to Loren Thompson, a defense consultant with close ties to Boeing, Keating had played a critical role in Boeing’s effort to manage a series of crises, including the 737 MAX saga, the loss of a major defense contract, and the sharp erosion of revenue caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“Keating might not have stayed at Boeing as long as he did except out of a sense of responsibility because the company was in dire straits,” said Thompson.
Incidentally, neither Calhoun nor Boeing’s media statement offered Keating thanks or acknowledged his contributions to the company, which included running its extensive philanthropic activities – omissions that raised questions on the circumstances of his departure.
Boeing has also removed Keating’s profile from its website.
Boeing’s spokesperson declined to comment beyond its media statement.
Before joining Boeing, Keating was senior vice president of global government relations at Honeywell as well as the chairman of the board at Washington lobbying firm Timmons and Company.
He also served in different White House roles under former President Bill Clinton.