updated 3/18/2005 4:56:07 PM ET 2005-03-18T21:56:07

The Boeing Co. executive whose affair with CEO Harry Stonecipher led to his ouster last week has voluntarily resigned, the company said Friday.

The woman's resignation was effective Thursday, spokesman John Dern said. He declined further comment, and Boeing continued its refusal to identify her, citing privacy concerns.

Stonecipher resigned at the request of Boeing's board of directors for what Chairman Lew Platt said was unprofessional conduct related to the affair. Company sources have said the ouster was necessary because of graphic e-mail exchanges between the CEO and the female executive at a time when Boeing's ethical conduct was under heavy scrutiny.

When Boeing announced Stonecipher's ouster March 7, it said it also was investigating the woman's activities surrounding the matter and did not know whether she would remain with the company.

That investigation is now complete, Boeing told employees in a companywide message Friday quoting general counsel Doug Bain. The company said that "by mutual agreement," neither Boeing nor the former executive is releasing further information.

The woman was identified last week by BusinessWeek Online, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times as Debra Peabody, a 48-year-old divorcee who managed office operations for Boeing in Washington and became involved with Stonecipher at a company retreat in California in January.

Some employees had criticized Boeing management for not dismissing the woman along with Stonecipher.

Addressing their questions about why the investigation into her activities took longer than the investigation into Stonecipher, the company said investigations of company officers such as the CEO take priority.

"The board of directors is obligated to gather information and move as swiftly as possible in instances involving company officers whose employment status may have a material effect on the company," said the message, obtained by The Associated Press and released in part by the company. "Investigative resources were applied first to the Stonecipher inquiry, then to the review of the actions of the female executive, who was not an officer of the company."

Addressing whether the woman got a financial package upon her resignation and whether she would have been fired had she not left voluntarily, the company reiterated to employees: "Boeing and the former executive have mutually agreed not to discuss the details of her separation from the company."

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