The Philippine Star

Boe­ing board strips CEO of chair­man ti­tle amid 737 MAX cri­sis

- Business · Boeing · United States of America · Blackstone Group · Indonesia · Dennis Muilenburg · Ethiopia

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.

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