David Packard & Bill Hewlett
It’s a familiar scene. An industry under fire. A congressional committee demanding answers. A corporate CEO called to testify.
Yet the familiarities, in this case, end there. When Boeing CEO Bill Allen appeared before a House subcommittee—addressing charges that military aircraft makers had improperly inflated profits at the government’s expense—there was no lawyer whispering in his ear. There were no notes before him. There was no hint that he wasn’t personally responsible for Boeing’s actions. And when he had finished his quietly forthright explanation, there was no question that Boeing—far from gouging the government to pad executives’ bonuses—had in fact been laying the foundations for future greatness, plowing profits into research and development. The committee’s response now seems unimaginable: It erupted into a standing ovation.