Niel Golightly Resigns from Boeing Over 33-Year Old Article (Reports).

Niel Golightly resigned from his position as Senior Vice President of Communications at the Boeing Company on Thursday.

Niel’s decision to resign stems from an employee complaint that brought Boeing’s attention to an article he wrote in 1987 while serving in the military, about whether women should serve in combat.

Boeing 737 MAX 7 reg: N720IS. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.
“My article was a 29-year-old Cold War navy pilot’s misguided contribution to a debate that was live at the time,” said Golightly. “My argument was embarrassingly wrong and offensive. The dialogue that followed its publication 33 years ago quickly opened my eyes, indelibly changed my mind, and shaped the principles of fairness, inclusion, respect and diversity that have guided my professional life since. The article is not a reflection of who I am; but nonetheless I have decided that in the interest of the company I will step down.”

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Boeing has initiated a search for his successor. In the interim, the communications function will report to Greg Smith, Executive Vice President of enterprise operations and chief financial officer until a permanent successor is named.

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David Calhoun, President and CEO, said, “Niel and I discussed at length the article and its implications for his role as the company’s lead spokesman. I greatly respect Niel for stepping down in the interest of the company. I thank him for his contributions to the Boeing Company, which have been substantial even in a short time. Our Executive Council and I thank him and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Editor’s note: As absolutely unbelievable as this news sounds, sadly it is true. Perhaps there are lessons for the youth of today to learn from what has happened here. Thirty three years ago the internet did not exist, it was a different world, a different time, and most would argue that Niel’s views in 1987 were pretty mainstream. Today, social media is filled with messages of hate, anger and vulgar language, with people posting their thoughts almost 24/7 for all to read, often verbally attacking anyone who does not agree with their own personal opinions. If what has happened to Neil can happen over just one article from 33 years ago, I can’t help but wonder what will happen in 33 years time…

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