Boeing announced Monday that its chief executive, Dennis Muilenburg, has resigned, more than a year after the company’s 737 Max was the first of two fatal accidents. Boeing said the board “felt the need to change its leadership.” But the New York Times reported that he was fired.
Muilenburg’s CEO role will be taken over by David L. Calhoun, who is currently chairman of Boeing’s board of directors, and will continue to serve as chairman. Boeing said there would be a “short transition period” during which Greg Smith, the company’s chief financial officer, would serve as interim chief executive.
“Boeing’s board of directors has decided that leadership must be changed to restore confidence in the company as it works to build relationships with regulators, customers and all other stakeholders,” the company wrote in a statement about the leadership change. ”
After two Boeing 737 Max crashes in five months, the world’s air traffic control agency has grounded the 737 Max and asked Boeing to investigate the two disasters that killed 346 people. The investigation revealed that the crash was related to a stall-proof software installed by Boeing on board.
Things have become more complicated in recent days for Mullenberg, as Boeing’s Space Starliner, a plane designed to send astronauts to the International Space Station, suffered a major setback in last week’s failed test launch. When the spacecraft was safely launched to a predetermined altitude, the automation system that should have been pushed into the correct orbit failed, disrupting the planned rendezvous with the International Space Station.