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Fired Boeing CFO Denies Violation

November 27, 2003|From Bloomberg News

Former Boeing Co. Chief Financial Officer Michael Sears, who was fired Monday for allegedly meeting with a former Air Force official to discuss hiring her, denied that he had violated company policy.

"At no time did I engage in conduct which I believed to be in violation of any company policy," Sears said in a statement Wednesday through his attorney, James Streicker of Cotsirilos, Tighe & Streicker Ltd. in Chicago.

Sears and Darleen Druyun, deputy general manager of Boeing's missile-defense business, were dismissed after a Boeing inquiry found the two had met in October 2002 to discuss her hiring, while she was helping to negotiate a proposal to buy Boeing aerial-refueling tankers, and that they also tried to hide their misconduct.

Druyun joined Boeing in January.

"I am deeply disappointed that the company took the action it did," Sears said in the statement. "At all times I have faithfully carried out my duties on behalf of Boeing to the best of my ability."

The company's investigation started when the U.S. military in September began a probe into whether Druyun, while she was the Air Force's No. 2 acquisition official, gave Boeing a rival's information related to the tanker contract.

Shares of Boeing, based in Chicago, rose 2 cents to $38.28 on the New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

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