Boeing Fires CEO as It Tries to Repair Reputation after 737 Max Mishap

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Boeing Fires CEO as It Tries to Repair Reputation after 737 Max Mishap
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Boeing has announced changes in its leadership on the road to recovering from its infamous 737 Max crisis.

As it tries to save itself from other disappointments, Boeing has fired its CEO Dennis Muilenburg. The decision was made necessary because of problems that stemmed from two separate incidents of fatal crashes of the Boeing 737 Max.

The new Boeing CEO announcement caused BA stock to rise by 3% to $337.55 shortly after it was publicized. Regardless, prices are still down about 20% ever since the March 10 crash. The general consensus from much of Wall Street is that Boeing could have done a lot more to properly handle the situation. Stocks might still have dropped, but probably not as much as 20%.

Muilenburg who was CEO from July 2015 until December 23, 2019, has been relieved of his post effective immediately. The company’s chairman, 62-year-old David Calhoun, is set to take the position as from Monday the 13th of January. Ex-CEO of Continental Airlines Larry Kellner will be the company’s new chairman, replacing Calhoun.

At the moment, Boeing is in a bit of a mess as analysts are finding new ways to describe 2019 as one of the company’s worst years ever, since it was founded in 1916, about 103 years ago. The two incidents have somewhat destroyed the company’s reputation with customers all over the world, as well as regulatory authorities in the aerospace industry.

In a recent note to employees, Boeing’s chief financial officer (CFO) Greg Smith who is currently the interim CEO suggested the move was to create a better relationship with all parties who are currently somewhat averse to Boeing. He said:

“The Board determined that a change in leadership was necessary to restore confidence in the company moving forward and that we will proceed with a renewed commitment to full transparency, including effective and proactive communications with the FAA, other global regulators and our customers.”

Problems began back in October 2018 when one of the crashes happened in Indonesia. By March 2019, a second Boeing 737 Max crashed, causing the airline to ground the planes until further notice. Both incidents claimed 346 lives and seriously soured Boeing’s public image. In both cases, investigators found that a new auto flight control tool called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) caused the failure.

The new Boeing CEO however now has a lot to do outside of the 737 Max. Calhoun now has another problem to face with the company’s spacecraft Starliner. The Starliner was being tested by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and was to fly to the International Space Station to make a delivery and then come back to earth. However, this important test was not successful because the spacecraft’s flight control system misfired not long after it took off.

The Starliner ended up in a wrong orbit but was still able to land successfully in the New Mexico desert. Regardless of the mishap, NASA called it “a flawless flight back to Earth and a good landing.”

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