Current chairman to take over to “restore confidence” to beleaguered manufacturer in wake of Boeing 737 MAX crashes

Boeing has fired its chief executive, Dennis Muilenburg in a bid to “restore confidence” in the firm.

The company’s current chairman, David Calhoun, will take over as chief executive and president from January 13.

Muilenburg faced calls for his resignation over the company’s response to two deadly crashes involving the manufacturer’s 737 MAX in Ethiopia and Indonesia. Boeing’s entire 737 MAX fleet has been grounded since March while investigations and safety adjustments are made.

Boeing announced last week that it would temporarily halt production of the aircraft while it waited for regulators to certify the safety of an update to the aircraft’s software.

A statement from Boeing read: “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.”

Lawrence Kellner would become non-executive chairman with immediate effect.

Boeing overhauls review procedure

Investigations into the crashes which killed 346 people, identified faults with the MCAS automated control system in the plane. Boeing has said the software system, which relied on a single sensor, received erroneous data, which led it to override pilot commands and push the aircraft downwards. The company is working on fixes for the software, pending certification, and has carried out an overhaul of its review procedures.

Muilenburg had faced criticism over the corporate culture at Boeing and its relationship with regulators. Critics claim the company had prioritised profits and speed of production over safety, a claim which has been denied by Boeing.

US lawmakers claim the firm that the firm knew that the system could be unreliable before the crashes took place. They have accused the company of prioritising profit over safety as it pushed to get the planes to customers.

A statement by Boeing’s board added: “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 Authority], other global regulators and its customers.”

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