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Nikki Haley resigns from Boeing board ‘on principle’ over company’s request for federal bailout

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Former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley announced she is stepping down from Boeing’s board of directors because they were “going in a direction I cannot support.”

Haley announced her resignation in a letter on a Securities and Exchange Commission filing following the aircraft maker’s request for a government bailout amid the coronavirus outbreak.

(Image: CBS News screenshot)

“Ambassador Haley informed the Company that, as a matter of philosophical principle, she does not believe that the Company should seek support from the Federal Government, and therefore decided to resign from the board,” Boeing said in the filing, referring to its request for a $60 billion government bailout.

“As we encounter the COVID-19 crisis, Boeing, along with many other companies, face another major set of challenges,” Haley wrote in the letter dated Monday.

“However, the board and the executive team are going in a direction I cannot support,” the former Republican governor of South Carolina, where Boeing has a large plant, added.

She noted that when she joined the board nearly one year ago, “there was no better team I could think of being a part of,” but she went on to explain why her decision to resign was based on her “convictions.”

“While I know cash is tight, that is equally true for numerous other industries and for millions of small businesses,” Haley wrote.

“I cannot support a move to lean on the federal government for a stimulus or bailout that prioritizes our company over others and relies on taxpayers to guarantee our financial position. I have long held strong convictions that this is not the role of government,” she said in the letter.

“I strongly believe that when one is part of a team, and one cannot in good faith support the direction of the team, then the proper thing to do is to resign. As such, I hereby resign my position from the Boeing Board,” Haley wrote, adding that she “will continue to be a strong supporter of Boeing and its workforce.”

“We appreciate her service on the board and wish her well,” the company said in a statement.

A potential $1 trillion stimulus bill being crafted by lawmakers could provide the federal support companies like Boeing would be competing to get. At a news conference earlier this week, President Trump said that he supported a bailout for Boeing as the U.S. military contractor, as well as other industries, have been hit economically by the coronavirus outbreak.

The economic stimulus bill Senate Republicans introduced on Thursday, did not specifically mention the aerospace industry but did include $50 billion in “loans and loan guarantees” for passenger airlines and another $8 billion for “cargo air carriers.”

Twitter users reacted to the news about Haley, whose name has repeatedly been floated as a potential 2024 presidential candidate and recently as a new running mate for President Trump.

Frieda Powers

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