SEATTLE – Boeing has fired its chief executive Dennis Muilenburg on Monday. The CEO’s handling of the aircraft manufacturer’s 737 MAX crisis had angered airlines, lawmakers, regulators and victims’ families. Muilenburg is held responsible for the company’s worst crisis in its 103-year history, since two 737 MAX aircraft crashed in October 2018 in Indonesia and in March 2019 in Ethiopia, killing 346 people. The aircraft has been grounded worldwide for 9 months now. After 9 months Boeing wasn’t able to convince aviation authorities to get the 737 MAX in the air again.
The fact that Boeing has fired Muilenburg comes as no surprise. Investigations following the 2 fatal flights revealed serious shortcomings in the design and certification process. For that reason he already gave up his role as Chairman of the Board in October of this year.
Muilenburg – Boeing’s CEO since 2015 – will be replaced as CEO and president by David Calhoun on January 13, 2020. Calhoun is currently chairman of the company.
“I strongly believe in the future of Boeing and the 737 MAX,” the new CEO Calhoun says in a statement. “I am honored to lead this great company and the 150,000 dedicated employees who are working hard to create the future of aviation.”
Until Calhoun takes up his new position on January 13, Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith will act as interim CEO. Larry Kellner, former Continental Airlines CEO, has been appointed with immediate effect as the non-executive chairman of the Board of Directors. Kellner said on behalf of the Board of Directors that he was happy that Calhoun was prepared to take charge of Boeing “at this critical moment”.
(Head photo: Boeing)