With no end in sight to Boeing’s troubles with the 737 Max 8, CEO Dennis Muilenburg has resigned, the airplane manufacturer announced Monday morning. Taking his place is Boeing’s chairman, David Calhoun.
The news comes after Boeing made the call last week to halt production of the 737 Max 8, a plane that’s crashed twice since 2018, leading to the longest grounding in the history of the Federal Aviation Administration. In total, 346 passengers and crew members died in the two crashes.
Previously, Boeing had announced that the airplane, which has been grounded since March 2019, would be back in service by January. But, fearing a rush job, regulators told the manufacturer that the timeline was “unrealistic.” Over the weekend, United Airlines announced that it had pulled the Max 8 from its schedules until June.
“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,” Boeing said in a statement. “Under the company’s new leadership, Boeing will operate with a renewed commitment to full transparency, including effective and proactive communication with the FAA, other global regulators and its customers.”
In October, Muilenberg represented Boeing before Congress, telling legislators, “My company and I are accountable, that accountability starts with me and my position.”
Muilenburg, who has spent his entire professional career at Boeing, had served as the manufacturer’s CEO and chairman of the board, but was stripped of his chairman title in October.
At the time, Calhoun said, “The board has full confidence in Dennis as CEO and believes this division of labor will enable maximum focus on running the business with the board playing an active oversight role.”
In a statement announcing his ascent to CEO, Calhoun said, “I strongly believe in the future of Boeing and the 737 Max. I am honored to lead this great company and the 150,000 dedicated employees who are working hard to create the future of aviation.”