Monday saw the firing of Boeing’s chief executive Dennis A Muilenburg, whose management of the company’s 737 Max crisis had incensed lawmakers, regulators, airlines, and victim’s families. As per the company, the chairman Dave Calhoun will replace Muilenburg on January 13. For the time being, Boeing’s chief financial officer, Greg Smith, will take over as interim chief executive, the company said.
Two of the company’s employees anonymously revealed that the Boeing Board landed at the decision on a call on Sunday, following a chain of disastrous orders for the company. Muilenburg has already stepped down from his position.
In its history spanning 103 years, Boeing witnessed its worst crisis as the crashing of two 737 Max jets killed 346 people. Boeing is witnessing cascading delays as it attempted to return the Max into the air. The plane has been grounded ever since March. Boeing said in the previous week that it would temporarily close the 737 Max factory. The relationship of Muilenburg with the Federal Aviation Administration was hampered after he was found pressurizing the agency to return the planes to service. Delivering a huge blow to the company’s morale, a Boeing space capsule, which was designed for NASA, failed to reach the right orbit on Friday.
Before the plane can be shown a green flag, the company and regulators will have to fix an automated system called MCAS, which was found to have played a key role in both crashes as well as making sure that the Max is certified securely and transparently. Muilenburg had repeatedly made several exaggerated optimistic prophesies regarding the tentative resuming of the plane’s service. The same has resulted in causing chaos for the airlines, which had to cancel thousands of flights and suffer losses to the tune of billions of dollars in sales. The clumsy manner in which he attempted to apologize, left lawmakers irate and the victims’ families feeling as if the company was not concerned about their loss.
The fall in the Boeing’s stock by 22% amidst this crisis has cost the company more than $8 billion and affecting a supply chain that stretches to 8000 companies.
In a recent statement, the company said that the board of directors “decided that a change in leadership was necessary to restore confidence in the company.” Smith, on Monday, issued a note to employees stating that Boeing would “proceed with a renewed commitment to full transparency, including effective and proactive communications with the FAA, other global regulators and our customers.”