Boeing 737 Max: CEO Dennis Muilenburg out amid plane crisis – Business Insider

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has been fired effective immediately, the company’s board of directors announced Monday, as the plane maker continues to battle the fallout from two 737 Max crisis that left its best-selling plane in crisis.

Muilenburg will be replaced by David L. Calhoun, Boeing’s current chairman, on January 13 next year, according to the press release

The aviation giant has this year been gripped by a huge crisis over its handling of two crashes involving the 737 Max plane. The two crashes, in October 2018 and March 2019, killed a total of 346 people. At the time, Muilenburg said the company expected the plane to return to service within six weeks. 

“The Board of Directors decided 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,” the press release said. 

Shares of Boeing rose more than 3% in early-trading following the announcement. 

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The statement did not explicitly mention the 737 Max crisis beyond Calhoun saying he believes in “the future of Boeing and the 737 Max.”

There’s still no set return date for the plane, as in-progress planes sit idle near Boeing’s factories. Airlines continue to push back their estimated dates of service, with United Airlines now estimating a June return. 

“Under the Company’s new leadership, Boeing will operate with a renewed commitment to full transparency, including effective and proactive communication with the FAA, other global regulators and its customers,” the statement said.

“Dave has deep industry experience and a proven track record of strong leadership, and he recognizes the challenges we must confront.” 

Ethiopia Airlines crash

People stand near debris at the crash site of the Ethiopia Airlines flight in Ethiopia, on March 11, 2019.
MICHAEL TEWELDE/AFP/Getty Images


In the week before Muilenburg’s departure, Boeing faced big news for two of its other major products. It’s CST-100 Starliner spaceship veered wildly off-course during its maiden flight, eventually having to return to earth without docking to the International Space Station.

The company’s KC-46A aerial refueling tanker for cargo and passenger operations, meanwhile, was reinstated for service by the US Air Force after a three-month ban

Also last week, Moody’s and S&P downgraded Boeing’s debt to A3 and A-, respectively.

“I am honored to lead this great company and the 150,000 dedicated employees who are working hard to create the future of aviation,” Calhoun said in the statement

*An earlier version of this post misstated the timeline of Muilenburg’s departure. He is out effective immediately. 

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