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Muilenburg steps down as Boeing chief executive

Muilenburg steps down as Boeing chief executive

Dennis Muilenburg has been ousted as chief executive of Boeing.

In a statement, the American aeronautical giant said current chairman, David Calhoun, would step into the role from January 13th.

Calhoun, who will also become president of the company, will remain a member of the board.

In addition, board member Lawrence Kellner will become non-executive chairman of Boeing, effective immediately.

Boeing chief financial officer, Greg Smith, will serve as interim chief executive during the brief transition period, while Calhoun exits his non-Boeing commitments.

The news follows growing unease at the way in which Muilenburg has sought to recertify the Boeing 737 Max for commercial operation.


The plane remains grounded following two fatal accidents, in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Boeing has been working to convince the FAA software changes have made it safe to fly.

However, Muilenburg has proved consistently overoptimistic with regard to the process.

Despite promising in March the plane would be back in operation in a matter of weeks, the 737 Max is currently unlikely to return to the skies until 2020.

With a backlog of 400 planes awaiting delivery, Boeing said earlier this month it would suspend production of the 737 Max from January.

“On behalf of the entire board of directors, I am pleased that Dave has agreed to lead Boeing at this critical juncture,” Kellner said.

He added: “Dave has deep industry experience and a proven track record of strong leadership, and he recognises the challenges we must confront.

“The board and I look forward to working with him and the rest of the Boeing team to ensure that today marks a new way forward for our company.”

Under the company’s new leadership, Boeing said it would seek to operate with a renewed commitment to full transparency, including effective and proactive communication with the FAA, other global regulators and its customers.

Calhoun added: “I strongly believe in the future of Boeing and the 737 Max.

“I am honoured to lead this great company and the 150,000 dedicated employees who are working hard to create the future of aviation.”

The board of Boeing 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 statement added.