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As Boeing confronted a swelling crisis, it had little to sayND
David Gelles, The New York Times, Wednesday 27th March 2019
Boeing would appear to be well prepared to deal with a crisis, with its deep ties in Washington, its large spending on lobbying, and its Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg, who sits on the board of the Business Roundtable, an influential group that seeks to shape public policy. Yet in recent weeks, with increasing scrutiny, the company initially didn’t appear to have much to say. It issued brief statements, communicated quietly with the news media and government officials, and Mr Muilenburg stayed out of sight – his first substantial public comments coming in the form of a statement released more than a week after the crash in Ethiopia. “Their comments have been very engineering-esque,” said Richard Levick, founder of Levick, a Washington crisis communications firm. “There has been no human face to this.” “Boeing responded as a business-to-business company, but this has become a business-to-consumer issue,” Mr. Levick said. “Consumers now care about what plane they are on.” On March 18, Mr. Muilenburg released a statement and video expressing regret for the crashes and emphasizing Boeing’s commitment to safety. Days later, Boeing took out full-page advertisements in newspapers including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.
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