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24 December 2019

Boeing ousts CEO, turns to Chairman to map exit from Max crisis

Boeing is trying to regain its footing amid the Max grounding, one of the worst crises of the modern jet era.

Dennis Muilenburg, the former Chief Executive Officer of Boeing/Bloomberg

Dennis Muilenburg was ousted as chief executive officer of Boeing, a once-unthinkable turning point for a US industrial champion now engulfed in turmoil after two deadly crashes of its top-selling 737 Max jet, reported Bloomberg.

David Calhoun, who has been serving as Chairman since October 2019, will replace Muilenburg as CEO and President from 13 January 2020. The move follows a rare public rebuke earlier this month by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which prompted Boeing to temporarily halt the output of the Max, which has been grounded since March 2019.

Greg Smith, Boeing’s Chief Financial Officer will serve as interim CEO during the brief transition period while Director Larry Kellner, who once led Continental Airlines, will replace Calhoun as Chairman.

The planemaker’s reputation and finances have been battered after the Max disasters killed 346 people and prompted the worldwide grounding.

The Justice Department is conducting a criminal probe while Congress is scrutinising Boeing’s design decisions and cosy relationship with the FAA.

Boeing’s Board of Directors said that a change in leadership was necessary to restore confidence in the company moving forward as it works to repair relationships with regulators, customers, and all other stakeholders.

Boeing is turning to a GE veteran to run the company for the third time in less than two decades, as the US planemaker faces scrutiny for its unrelenting focus on shareholder value.

One of the criticisms of Muilenburg, an Aerospace Engineer who spent his entire career at Boeing, was his lack of experience running commercial aircraft programmes. The former Boeing CEO ascended through the defence division.

While the plane’s design was largely set before Muilenburg became CEO, he bore responsibility for the company’s initial muted response and the media firestorm that ensued when a second Max crashed less than five months later in Ethiopia.


RELATED STORIES: Dennis Muilenburg US Federal Aviation Administration Boeing 737 Max





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