Boeing shakes up leadership with new CEO

Boeing's board of directors replaced Dennis A. Muilenburg as the company's CEO and named David L. Calhoun as its new president and CEO on Monday morning.

Calhoun, who is currently chairman of the board, will begin his new position Jan. 13.

A news release from the company said Muilenburg resigned from his positions as CEO and board director. The New York Times, however, reported he was fired.

The change comes after the company’s 737 Max was grounded worldwide after two crashes — one in October 2018 off the coast of Indonesia and another in March 2019 in Ethiopia — which killed a combined total of 346 people.

The Max is crucial to Boeing and company officials have been unable to get approval from regulators to put the plane back in the air. Sales at Airbus, Boeing's top rival, surged 28% during the first half of the year.

“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,” the news release said.

“This is something that we have been asking and struggling for quite some time,” said Ababu Amha, who lost his wife, a flight attendant, in the second crash involving an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft. “The CEO reluctantly and deliberately kept the aircraft in service after the Lion Air crash. The Ethiopian Airlines crash was a preventable accident.”

The airplane maker pledged that the company will move forward with full transparency, including “effective and proactive communication with" the Federal Aviation Administration.

"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.

Boeing said last week that production of the Max would be wound down in January. The shutdown will likely ripple through Boeing’s vast network of 900 companies that make engines, bodies and other parts for the 737.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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