Spirit AeroSystems CFO to depart amid cash flow struggles, Boeing talks

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Spirit AeroSystems CFO to depart amid cash flow struggles, Boeing talks

Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. signage on a Boeing 737 fuselage outside the Boeing Co. manufacturing facility in Renton, Washington, US, on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024. 

David Ryder | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Spirit AeroSystems said on Wednesday that finance chief Mark Suchinski would depart the aerospace supplier amid cash flow struggles and ongoing talks to merge with its former owner Boeing.

Suchinski, a longtime Spirit executive, will be replaced immediately by board member and former Time Warner Cable executive Irene Esteves. He will remain with the Wichita, Kansas-based company for a transition period.

“(Esteves’) extensive experience and her remarkable instincts and financial acumen will be invaluable,” Spirit CEO Patrick Shanahan said in a statement.

Suchinski’s departure comes during a critical time for Spirit, which faces intense scrutiny from investors and regulators following a January accident where a cabin panel blew out mid-air on a Boeing 737 Max 9 jet, the fuselage for which was made by Spirit.

Since the accident, Boeing has slowed production of 737 Max jets and ended the practice of travelled work — the practice of completing work on a production line outside the ordinary sequence — increasing costs at Spirit and prompting it to consider a capital raise.

Spirit, which has not reported an annual profit since 2020, posted a quarterly net loss of $617 million last month and burned through $444 million in cash in the same period.

Boeing’s talks to acquire Spirit have also hit a roadblock due to complicated negotiations with Europe’s Airbus, the aerospace supplier’s second-biggest customer after the U.S. planemaker.

Suchinski joined Spirit in 2006 as an executive in the Aerostructures Segment and served in various roles before being appointed as the company’s CFO in 2020.

He will join The GEO Group as its CFO, the private prison operator said in a separate statement.

Esteves has been an independent director at Spirit since 2015, having previously worked as finance chief at Time Warner Cable, XL Group plc and Regions Financial Corporation.

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