Boeing will offer voluntary layoff packages to employees in the coming weeks, a move that President and CEO Dave Calhoun says will help to ensure the company emerges in a position to succeed after the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus.
“When the world emerges from the pandemic, the size of the commercial market and the types of products and services our customers want and need will likely be different,” Calhoun said in a companywide letter to employees. “We will need to balance the supply and demand accordingly as the industry goes through the recovery process for years to come.”
The voluntary layoff plan will allow eligible employees who want to leave Boeing to do so with a pay and benefits package. More information on who is eligible and how the program will work will be made available in the coming weeks, Calhoun said.
“We’re in uncharted waters. We’re taking actions — including offering this VLO (voluntary layoff) plan — based on what we know today,” he wrote. “They will bridge us to recovery as long as we’re not confronted with more unexpected challenges.”
The goal of the voluntary layoffs, he said, is to reduce the need for “other workforce actions.”
Calhoun said he still remains confident that Boeing “will not just emerge from the crisis but thrive again as the leader of our industry.”
“I can’t predict with certainty what the next few months will bring,” he wrote in his letter, “but I can commit to being honest about what’s happening and doing everything we can to protect our people and our business through this crisis.”