Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg resigns

The Boeing 737 MAX is currently grounded around the world. Photo: © Boeing

Boeing has announced that Chief Executive Officer and Board Director Dennis A. Muilenburg has resigned, effective immediately.

Current Chairman, David L. Calhoun, will take up the position of President and CEO, starting January 13th. Lawrence W. Kellner will become non-executive Chairman.

As Calhoun prepares for his new position as the head of Boeing, Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith will now serve as interim CEO for the short period of time in between.

In a statement released on Monday morning, Boeing says: “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.” This raises the question why it took Boeing until December to make this decision and remove Muilenburg as head of the company.

In October, Muilenburg had already lost his role as Chairman, when the Board decided to split the roles of Chairman and Chief Executive. Shortly after, Boeing fired Kevin McAllister, the CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

This leadership comes as Boeing’s 737 MAX crisis extends into a second year. The company’s best-selling aircraft type is grounded worldwide since March, following two deadly accidents, and is yet to receive approval to fly again. Earlier this month, Boeing announced that it will temporarily suspend 737 MAX production from January, until the aircraft is re-certified. The administrator of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently confirmed that this process will extend into 2020. David L. Calhoun says he ‘believes in the future of Boeing and the 737 MAX’.