Boeing Fires CFO For Unethical Conduct

By Agence France-Presse Boeing Co. said Nov. 24 it dismissed Chief Financial Officer Mike Sears for improperly recruiting a U.S. Air Force official to join the Chicago-based aerospace firm and then lying about it. The dismissal is related to the hiring of a former U.S. government official, Darleen Druyun, who has also been dismissed for cause. Boeing said the dismissals for "unethical conduct" were effective immediately. Sears violated company policy by communicating with Druyun about future employment before she had disqualified herself from acting in an official government capacity on matters involving Boeing, the aerospace manufacturer said. Druyun retired late last year as principal deputy assistant secretary for acquisition and management for the Air Force, where she made decisions that affected Boeing's business and was closely involved in Boeing's bid for a multibillion-dollar 767 tanker deal. "Compelling evidence of this misconduct by Mr. Sears and Ms. Druyun came to light over the last two weeks," said Boeing Chairman and CEO Phil Condit. "Upon review of the facts, our board of directors determined that immediate dismissal of both individuals for cause was the appropriate course of action." Sears and Druyun were also found to attempt to conceal their misconduct. Boeing named James Bell its acting chief financial officer. He has been senior vice president of finance and corporate controller. Boeing also said it had retained former U.S. Senator Warren Rudman to review the company's ethics programs. "Boeing must and will live by the highest standards of ethical conduct in every aspect of our business," Condit said. "When we determine there have been violations of our standards, we will act swiftly to address them, just as we have today." Earlier this year, Boeing was stripped of some $1 billion of government contracts following the discovery that the company had obtained secret documents from its chief competitor, Lockheed Martin Corp., during the bidding process for a rocket project. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2003

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