The chief concern: Investors are desperate for guidance on when Boeing’s best-selling plane, the 737 Max, can return to service, my CNN Business colleague Chris Isidore reports. The plane has been grounded since March, following two fatal accidents that killed everyone on board.
The company faces ongoing scrutiny from US regulators about the original certification process for the plane back in 2016. The Federal Aviation Administration chastised Boeing last week for only recently alerting the agency to concerns expressed during the process by employees. That revelation has weighed on Boeing shares, which have plunged more than 20% since March.
On the ground: Boeing has continued to build the 737 Max during the grounding in order to try to meet a backlog of more than 4,000 orders for the plane. But it won’t get most of the revenue from sales of the plane until delivery.
CEO Dennis Muilenburg, who was stripped of his chairman title earlier this month by the company’s board, has said that Boeing could be forced to suspend production of the Max if approval for it to fly again is not completed by the end of the year.
The latest: A top Boeing executive was ousted on Tuesday, the first high-profile exit since the crisis began. Kevin McAllister, who had been president and CEO of the unit that builds Boeing’s passenger jets, has been replaced by Stan Deal, the head of the company’s services division.
Nike’s CEO will step down next year
Parker will hand the reins to an outsider, John Donahoe, in January, the company said Tuesday. Donahoe, a Nike board member and CEO of cloud computing company ServiceNow, will focus on Nike’s digital transformation.
The shock announcement comes less than two years after Nike said Parker would remain CEO “beyond 2020,” my CNN Business colleague Clare Duffy reports.
Parker shot down the idea that those issues were involved in his departure in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday. In a note to employees, he wrote: “To be clear, I’m not going anywhere. I’m not sick. There are no issues I’m not sharing. I strongly believe the best way for us to evolve and grow as a company is to bring in a phenomenal talent to join our team who has long been part of the Nike family.”
Mark Zuckerberg heads to Washington
Those changes aren’t likely to lower the temperature in Washington — especially as the House Financial Services Committee drills into Libra. Representative Maxine Waters, the committee’s Democratic chairwoman, has slammed Facebook’s attempt to launch a digital currency, and has called for the project to be halted, my CNN Business colleague Brian Fung reports.
Zuck’s counterpoint: Zuckerberg is expected to explain that Facebook’s foray into digital currency is not intended to compete with existing government-backed currencies, and will address policymakers’ concerns about terrorism financing and money laundering.
“I want to be clear: Facebook will not be part of launching the Libra payments system anywhere in the world until US regulators approve,” he wrote in prepared remarks that were released Tuesday.
SoftBank’s WeWork bailout hits shares
The agreement marks a stunning fall from grace for WeWork. It values the company — which was running low on cash after a failed IPO attempt — at about $8 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. That’s down from a peak of $47 billion. Even so, disgraced founder Adam Neumann could walk away with a massive $1.7 billion payout.
Attention now shifts to SoftBank, which will hold 80% of WeWork as a result of the deal. Investors aren’t happy that CEO Masayoshi Son and team have been left holding the bag. Shares of SoftBank fell 2.5% in Tokyo on Wednesday. After a tough year, Masa Son’s Vision Fund clearly needs a big win — and soon.
- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify in front of the House Financial Services Committee at 10 a.m. ET.
- US crude oil inventories post at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Coming tomorrow: It’s the final European Central Bank meeting with Mario Draghi as president. Time to say your goodbyes.