777X Program Sees Leadership Shuffle As Teal Leaves Boeing

777x wing
Credit: Boeing

Boeing is appointing David Loffing as the new VP and chief project engineer of the 777X following the decision of company veteran Michael Teal to retire.

Loffing, who was previously VP and chief project engineer on the 777, will be succeeded in that role by the current 777/777X director of engineering Ben Linder. Prior to his role on the 777, Loffing has held senior roles in the 747, 737 and New Midsize Airplane (NMA) programs. 

Teal, whose departure was revealed in an internal engineering organization memorandum from Howard McKenzie, the recently appointed VP and chief engineer for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, began work at the company in 1986 as a stress engineer on the 757. In later years he rose through the ranks to become chief structures engineer for the 747—a responsibility that eventually expanded to include the 767 and 777.

Teal was also VP and chief project engineer for the 747-8 program before being appointed in August 2011 as VP, chief project engineer and deputy program manager for the 737 MAX. He then moved to the 777X program in November 2017.

Due to his senior role in the formative years of the 737 MAX, Teal was asked to testify in the 2020 Congressional hearings into the fatal accidents that led to the grounding of the aircraft in 2019. More recently, in November 2021, Teal’s testimony was also noted by Democrats on the U.S. House Transportation Committee chaired by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) who are pushing for more individual accountability at the company.

Boeing says Teal’s decision to retire is “long planned” and comes after 35 years of service to the company. 

Guy Norris

Guy is a Senior Editor for Aviation Week, covering technology and propulsion. He is based in Colorado Springs.