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Woman in Boeing affair resigns

Sat., March 19, 2005

CHICAGO — The Boeing Co. executive whose affair with CEO Harry Stonecipher led to his ouster last week has voluntarily resigned, the company said Friday.

The woman’s resignation was effective Thursday, spokesman John Dern said. He declined further comment, and the aircraft manufacturer continued its refusal to identify her, citing privacy concerns.

Stonecipher resigned at the request of Boeing’s board of directors for what Chairman Lew Platt said was unprofessional conduct related to the affair. Company sources have said the ouster was necessary because of graphic e-mail exchanges between the CEO and the female executive at a time when Boeing’s ethical conduct was under heavy scrutiny.

When Boeing announced Stonecipher’s ouster March 7, it said it also was investigating the woman’s activities surrounding the matter and did not know whether she would remain with the company.

That investigation is now complete, Boeing told employees in a companywide message Friday quoting general counsel Doug Bain. The company said that “by mutual agreement,” neither Boeing nor the former executive is releasing further information .

The woman was identified last week by BusinessWeek Online, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times as Debra Peabody, a 48-year-old divorcee who managed office operations for Boeing in Washington and became involved with Stonecipher at a company retreat in California in January.

Addressing their questions about why the investigation into her activities took longer than the investigation into Stonecipher, the company said investigations of company officers such as the CEO take priority.


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