Boeing recently announced that the company’s CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, who has been at the helm since 2015, and oversaw the company during the 737 MAX crisis, has resigned. The announcement came during a Board of Directors meeting, wherein the board also announced current Board Chairman David L. Calhoun will replace Muilenburg as chief executive officer and president, effective Jan. 13, 2020.
"The board 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 press release.
Some news outlets reported that Muilenburg was fired, but Boeing's official statement announced that he resigned. The announced leadership shakeup comes as the launch of Boeing’s first unmanned Starliner spacecraft failed its mission to reach the International Space Station last week. The botched mission was only the latest example of how 2019 has been a tough year for the beleaguered airplane manufacturer.
Boeing just last week announced that it plans to suspend the production of its 737 MAX planes until January at the earliest, as the FAA works to finish its review of the 737 MAX by the end of 2019.
Under the company's new leadership, Boeing pledges to operate with a renewed commitment to full transparency, including effective and proactive communication with the FAA, other global regulators and its customers.
"On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I am pleased that Dave has agreed to lead Boeing at this critical juncture," said Lawrence Kellner, chair of the Audit Committee and member of the Aerospace Safety Committee. "Dave has deep industry experience and a proven track record of strong leadership, and he recognizes 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."
Boeing Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith will serve as interim CEO during the transitional period, while Calhoun prepares to take the role of CEO. Calhoun will remain a member of the Board. Additionally, Lawrence W. Kellner will become non-executive Chairman of the Board, effective immediately.
"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," said Calhoun.