Former U.N. Ambassador and S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley has resigned from Boeing’s board less than a year after she joined, citing disagreements over how to respond to the fallout from COVID-19.
Haley wrote in her resignation letter that she “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 wrote.
Boeing said on Tuesday that it supports a $60 billion federal bailout of the aerospace manufacturing industry.
“The long-term outlook for the industry is still strong, but until global passenger traffic resumes to normal levels, these measures are needed to manage the pressure on the aviation sector and the economy as a whole,” the company said in a statement.
Haley said she wants to be a part of helping Boeing push through the challenges that the coronavirus presents, but “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.”
Haley joined Boeing’s board as it struggled to deal with the global grounding of the 737 Max that followed two crashes within five months. Haley wrote in her resignation letter that she has appreciated “the humility and transparency” shown by Boeing to make sure the 737 Max returns to service as “the safest, strongest plane ever flown.”
“I hope you all know that I will continue to be a strong supporter of Boeing and its workforce,” she wrote. “All of you have taught me so much over the past year. Serving with each and every one of you has been a privilege.”
Haley became governor in 2011, the same year Boeing opened its 787 campus in North Charleston. As governor, she aggressively recruited economic development deals to the state, including expansions of Boeing’s S.C. campus.
She left her position as governor in 2017 to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; she resigned from that post in December 2018.