Boeing taps former Bush official Ziad Ojakli to head government operations

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Boeing is placing Ziad Ojakli, who served as former President George W. Bush’s principal deputy for legislative affairs, in charge of the company’s public policy and lobbying efforts starting October 1.

Why it matters: His appointment comes on the heels of the U.S. Department of Justice opening a $500 million fund for relatives of the two fatal Boeing 737 Max crashes, which is part of a $2.5 billion settlement agreement reached in January.

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  • Boeing has also recently cut its target for deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner after the FAA reviewed the company's aircraft evaluation methods.

The details: Boeing’s chief strategy officer Marc Allen has served as interim EVP of government operations since June, when Tim Keating, a former Clinton administration staffer, was ousted from the position.

  • Ojakli will report to Boeing president and CEO David Calhoun. He will also oversee Boeing’s global philanthropic organization.

  • Ojakli had been a former senior leader with Softbank and had a 14-year career as group vice president with Ford Motor Company, where he managed government interactions and directed Ford's philanthropic efforts.

What they’re saying: “[Ojakli’s] broad experience serving in executive roles in government and the private sector will contribute to our engagement with our stakeholders as we continue our focus on safety, quality and transparency, and transforming our company for the future,” Calhoun said in a statement.

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