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Boeing Finally Makes a Blood Sacrifice

Boeing Finally Makes a Blood Sacrifice
Jackie Reddy

After firing an executive, answering some questions in a congressional hearing, being warned to stop telling the public when the MAX is coming back, and, eventually ceasing production of new planes, Boeing has just made another mea culpa in the form of a blood sacrifice: firing its CEO.

Two Fatal Crashes And Their Fall-Out

Dennis Muilenburg had been CEO of Boeing since 2015. However, his tenure at Boeing oversaw the crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. These two major incidents – in which a total of 346 people were killed – occurred in October 2018 and March 2019, respectively, and resulted in the worldwide grounding of the 737 MAX.

Ongoing investigations have revealed that the cause of these crashes center around the craft’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) which stabilizes the nose of the craft. A flaw in the system – which, it turns out, was known prior to the Lion Air crash – could cause the plane to stall and crash.

While these investigations into the craft – as well as Boeing’s reiterations that the 737 MAX would be airworthy again – have carried on. Last week, the production of the plane was suspended.

Boeing’s New CEO

Muilenburg’s departure from Boeing has heralded in a raft of change at the manufacturer. In a statement, the company confirmed that David C. Calhoun will succeed Muilenburg as CEO and board president as of January 13, 2020.

During this transitional period, Greg Smith, chief financial officer, will take on the role of interim CEO.  Board member Lawrence W. Kellner will immediately take on the role of non-executive chairman.

Commenting on Calhoun’s appointment, Kellner said, “On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I am pleased that Dave has agreed to lead Boeing at this critical juncture. Dave has deep industry experience and a proven track record of strong leadership, and he recognizes the challenges we must confront. The Board and I look forward to working with him and the rest of the Boeing team to ensure that today marks a new way forward for our company.”

“A Change In Leadership Was Necessary to Restore Confidence”

Offering insight into these changes, Boeing said, “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.”

Of his own appointment, Calhoun said, “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.”

[Source: Twitter/Dennis A. Muilenburg]

View Comments (7)

7 Comments

  1. White Eagle

    December 23, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Hopefully, Boeing will once again trust human pilots to fly their aircraft competently. Without silly handheld flight de-controls. And without hidden land-based rooms with1 pilot flying10 planes at a time simultaneously & remotely.

  2. jjmoore

    December 23, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    This firing came way too late.

  3. BayAreaTrvler

    December 23, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    Boeing, now may be the time to just bag the Max and focus on a true, modern narrow body replacement. Offer to fill Max orders with NG 737s at a discount, and turn all of your engineering attention to the 737 replacement. The Max has been an unmitigated failure, and you will spend a bottomless pit of cash trying to get the global regulatory community to approve it for flight. Cut your losses and move on.

  4. mmxbreaks

    December 24, 2019 at 2:21 am

    A questionable title, given the 346 actual deaths that took place during his tenure…

  5. downinit

    December 24, 2019 at 5:30 am

    Getting paid $26.5 million to quit after greed and gross incompetence leading up to the death of hundreds of people is hardly what I would call a ‘blood sacrifice.’ Trial and conviction for manslaughter would be more appropriate.

  6. Tailgater

    December 24, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Just as it required TWO highly suspicious crashes and a worldwide grounding of the 737MAX before Boeing and the FAA did anything, now we learn nearly a year after this fiasco that Boeing, finally, releases its CEO (who will probably retire with big fat bonuses instead of a big kick in the pants). Still can’t believe Boeing’s lukewarm response after the first crash, and Boeing’s “wait ‘n see” response after the second crash. Wow, the world’s airlines ground the plane before Boeing/FAA does anything. How could Boeing be so insensitive and callous? Maybe Boeing thought it should wait out until a third 737MAX crash?

  7. horseymike

    December 26, 2019 at 6:43 am

    ax the max. bad design done in haste to compete with airbus. sell off as parts. build the great planes that made the company legendary, not what some ” green deal ” nut is dictating.

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