The Philippine Star
Boeing board strips CEO of chairman title amid 737 MAX crisis
Boeing Co.’s board has stripped chief executive Dennis Muilenburg of his chairmanship title, in an unexpected strategy shift announced by the US planemaker on Friday only hours after a global aviation panel criticized development of the troubled 737 MAX.
Separating the roles, which will enable Muilenburg to have “maximum focus” on steering daily operations, was the latest step the board has taken in recent weeks to improve executive oversight of its engineering ranks and industrial operations.
Lead director David Calhoun, a senior managing director at Blackstone Group, will takeover as non-executive chairman, Boeing said in its announcement, which came late on Friday afternoon without warning. It added that the board had “full confidence” in Muilenburg, who will retain the top job and remain on the board.
The decision came as Boeing struggles to get its best-selling 737 MAX back into service following a worldwide safety ban in March triggered by two crashes that killed a total of 346 people in Ethiopia and Indonesia.
It also comes some six months after Muilenburg survived a shareholder motion to split his chairman and CEO roles, part of the intense pressure he has faced during the worst crisis of his four years at the helm of the world’s largest planemaker.
“This decision is the latest of several actions by the board of directors and Boeing senior leadership to strengthen the company’s governance and safety management processes,” the company said.