By Eric M. Johnson
SEATTLE (Reuters) – Boeing Co <BA.N> will cancel CEO pay, suspend its dividend and extend a pause on share buybacks, the U.S. planemaker said on Friday, as companies eager for government aid to curb fallout from the coronavirus face pressure to cut payouts to investors.
Boeing’s decision echoes similar measures taken by the largest U.S. airlines in an effort to win over taxpayer support for their requests for stimulus packages, as the fast-spreading virus virtually erases air travel demand and hits the global economy.
Boeing is pursuing $60 billion in U.S. government aid to help prop up a U.S. aerospace manufacturing supply chain already reeling from the year-old grounding of its previously fast-selling 737 MAX jetliner after fatal crashes.
“Boeing is drawing on all of its resources to sustain operations, support its workforce and customers, and maintain supply chain continuity through the COVID-19 crisis and for the long term,” the company said late on Friday.
Boeing said it will extend its pause of any share repurchasing “until further notice.”
The company previously suspended its stock buyback programme in April of 2019.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Rosalba O’Brien)