Boeing announces job cuts

By Marjorie Censer / April 29, 2020 at 11:46 AM

Boeing's chief executive said today the company has begun cutting employees, seeking to reduce its headcount by about 10%.

In a letter to employees, David Calhoun said the company is facing a decline in its production rates and the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

"We have begun taking action to lower our number of employees by roughly 10% through a combination of voluntary layoffs (VLO), natural turnover and involuntary layoffs as necessary," he said. "That is 10% in total for the enterprise. We'll have to make even deeper reductions in areas that are most exposed to the condition of our commercial customers -- more than 15% across our commercial airplanes and services businesses, as well as our corporate functions."

Still, Calhoun said he expects the "ongoing stability" of the company's defense, space and related services business to help Boeing limit the depth of the cut.

Meanwhile, the company reported today that sales during its most recent quarter in its defense, space and security business totaled $6 billion, down 8% from the same three-month period a year earlier. The unit recorded a loss of $191 million for the quarter primarily because of a charge related to the KC-46 tanker program.

Boeing said the defense group was also affected by "COVID-19-related factory disruption."