Boeing today announced that CEO Dennis Muilenberg has resigned from his executive posts as chief executive and member of the Board with immediate effect.
Chief financial officer Greg Smith will act as CEO in the interim while Chairman David Calhoun will assume the permanent role of CEO and President on January 13, 2020.
The changes come after Boeing’s appalling year which saw two if its aircrafts going down and killing all 346 people aboard, and the subsequent grounding of its flagship 737 plane.
Calhoun will remain a member of the Board but its chairmanship will pass to Lawrence W. Kellner, who will become non-executive Chairman immediately.
According to the manufacturer, “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 the changes will help its renewed commitment to transparency and its effective communication with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)and other bodies.
Regarding his new role, Calhoun said “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.”
In November, Boeing had said it hoped to restart production of its 737 Max in early 2020, however, the FAA shortly after said it would not be rushed to recertify the planes. That revelation was followed some weeks later by Boeing’s announcement that it would suspend production of the 737 early next year.
A malfunctioning automated control system was blamed for two fatal crashes; a Lion Air crash in the Java Sea in October 2018 followed by a second accident with an Ethiopian Airlines in Addis Ababa in March 2019.