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Boeing PR Chief Abruptly Resigns After 33 Year-Old Article Surfaces

On Thursday, Boeing (BA) found itself in the same position it’s been in four times over the past three years – needing to find a new chief of communications. Niel Golightly stepped down from his position at the airline manufacturer following the complaint of an employee about his 1987 article “No Right to Fight.”

In the article written for the U.S Naval Institute, Golightly argued that women should not have a place in combat. The intro to the article, as displayed on the school’s website, reads as, “At issue is not whether women can fire M-60s, dogfight MiGs, or drive tanks. Introducing women into combat would destroy the exclusively male intangibles of war fighting and the feminine images of what men fight for—peace, home, family.”

Golightly, who had only filled the prime Boeing role for six months, stated in Boeing’s announcement of his departure, “My article was a 29-year-old Cold War navy pilot’s misguided contribution to a debate that was live at the time. My argument was embarrassingly wrong and offensive. The dialogue that followed its publication 33 years ago quickly opened my eyes, indelibly changed my mind, and shaped the principles of fairness, inclusion, respect and diversity that have guided my professional life since. The article is not a reflection of who I am; but nonetheless I have decided that in the interest of the company I will step down.”

CEO of Boeing, David Calhoun, concluded the letter by reiterating the company’s commitment to “diversity and inclusion.”

With the stock market closed Friday for the Fourth of July holiday, some investors may be watching Boeing stock closely next week. This resignation comes as the latest problem the airline manufacturer has faced in public relations, following the safety issues with the 737 max jet.


Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Trader Buzz). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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