Boeing Communications Chief Resigns Over 33-Year-Old Article

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Niel Golightly stepped down after an employee complained about an article he wrote in 1987 that said women should not serve in combat. He said those views do not reflect his opinion today.

Boeing’s communications chief resigned last week after an employee complained about an article he wrote nearly 33 years ago that said women should not serve in combat.

Niel Golightly announced his resignation in an email to Boeing’s staff on July 2. He said that what he wrote in the article, which was published in 1987 when he was a 29-year-old Navy pilot, was wrong.

“The article I wrote — with arguments I disowned soon after — makes for painful reading,” Mr. Golightly, 62, wrote in the email, which he shared with The New York Times. “Painful because it is wrong. Painful because it is offensive to women. Painful because it reminds me of the sharp and embarrassing education the uninformed and unformed ‘me’ of that time received as soon as the piece appeared.”

In an email to employees after George Floyd was killed in police custody in Minneapolis in May, the company’s chief executive, David Calhoun, wrote that Boeing “will have zero tolerance for bigotry of any kind” and that the company would “redouble our determination to drive out behaviors that violate our values and injure our colleagues.”

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