The aircraft manufacturer says it’s headed in an entirely new direction in terms of leadership and technical efficiency.
In a news release from Boeing, the company states: “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. Under the Company’s new leadership, Boeing will operate with a renewed commitment to full transparency, including effective and proactive communication with the FAA, other global regulators and its customers.”
David Calhoun will step up as Boeing’s new president and CEO on Jan. 13. The announcement was made on Monday.
Muilenberg’s potential departure has been under review as of the last year. After two 737 Max jets crashed within five months of each other and killed 346 people, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered Boeing to ground all 737 Max aircrafts. According to The Chicago Tribune, both flights nose-dived into the ocean shortly after takeoff. A Lions Air flight was carrying 189 people when it crashed into the sea off the coast of Indonesia in November of 2018, and an Ethiopian Airlines flight was carrying 157 people in March of 2019. Aircraft experts say both disasters stemmed from changes within the flight control system that were not on par with the aircrafts’ engines.
The Tribune reports that the FAA initially stood behind Chicago-based Boeing after reporting that there were “no systematic issues.” However, once other countries in the European Union started grounding the planes, the FAA followed suit.
Boeing then wrote an open letter and addressed how the company would offer software updates and pilot training. The Tribune quotes part of the letter: “We know lives depend on the work we do, and our teams embrace that responsibility with a deep sense of commitment every day. Our purpose at Boeing is to bring family, friends and loved ones together with our commercial airplanes — safely.”
Boeing officials continued to deny that there is anything inherently wrong with 737 Max jets, but continued to conduct flight safety tests.
In a statement, Calhoun says, “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.”