Boeing fires its CEO over the 737 MAX scandal

Dennis Muilenburg has been sacked after 34 years with the plane manufacturer

Boeing has fired its chief executive officer Dennis Muilenburg, as the crisis surrounding its 737 MAX jetliner refuses to abate.

In a statement the corporation, which designs and manufactures planes, satellites, rockets and missiles, affirmed: “Under the company’s new leadership, Boeing will operate with a renewed commitment to full transparency, including effective and proactive communication with the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration], other global regulators and its customers.”

Muilenburg had worked at Boeing his entire adult life, joining as a 21-year-old intern in 1985 and serving as CEO and president from 2015. Chairman David Calhoun will take over both of these positions from January 13.

While some will be surprised by the perceived ruthlessness with which the world’s largest plane manufacturer has treated one of its most longstanding employees, to many commentators and industry analysts Muilenburg’s departure was inevitable following the company’s 737 MAX scandal.

The MAX was the company’s best-selling plane but has been involved in two recent fatal crashes that claimed the lives of 346 people. As a result, the company decided last week to ground more than 700 MAX jets around the world and halt further production for the first time in two decades.

Although Muilenburg met on multiple occasions with the American aviation authority, the FAA, he was unable to persuade them to allow 737s back in the air before 2020.

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Steve Dickson, the administrator of the FAA, said last week In an email to the US Congress that he was: “concerned that Boeing continues to pursue a return-to-service schedule that is not realistic... More concerning, the administrator wants to directly address the perception that some of Boeing’s public statements have been designed to force FAA into taking quicker action.”

Investors have reacted positively to Muilenburg’s departure with Boeing stock up 2.66 per cent at $336.64.

Further Reading: Boeing stock drops as 737 Max production is suspended

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