Dennis Muilenburg Loses Chairman Role At Boeing – Remains CEO

News coming out of Chicago indicates that Boeing is making some changes amid the 737 MAX grounding. Current CEO and chairman Dennis Muilenburg will no longer serve as chairman. He will, however, maintain his role as CEO. Meanwhile, Boeing is set to recognize a new chairman. This reshuffling is meant to support Boeing and its customers amid the 737 MAX groundings.

Boeing 737 MAX
Boeing is reshuffling leadership roles amid the 737 MAX grounding. Photo: Boeing

CEO Dennis Muilenburg is no longer chairman

Boeing announced in a news release that CEO Dennis Muilenburg will no longer serve in his capacity as chairman. Rather, he will maintain his current position as CEO, president and a director. Instead, a new chairman, David L. Calhoun, who currently serves as an independent lead director, will take the role of a non-executive chairman.

Dennis Muilenburg CEO
Dennis Muilenburg will retain his position as CEO. Photo: Boeing

Why is Boeing removing CEO Muilenburg as chairman?

Boeing is looking to move beyond the 737 MAX crisis. In order to do so, the board believes that separating the Chairman and CEO roles will help drive Boeing’s focus towards returning the 737 MAX to service. In particular, Boeing states that separating these roles will allow:

Muilenburg to focus full time on running the company as it works to return the 737 MAX safely to service, ensure full support to Boeing’s customers around the world, and implement changes to sharpen Boeing’s focus on product and services safety

Ultimately, the main goal of separating CEO Dennis Muilenburg and installing a new chairman is to narrow Boeing’s current focus on returning their highly profitable 737 MAX into service.

Boeing 737 MAX CEO Chairman reshuffle
Boeing is narrowing their focus at present to returning the 737 MAX into passenger service. Photo: Boeing

Boeing’s new committee

At the same time, Boeing is also looking to improve its reputation for safety. While they still have confidence in CEO Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s board announced a new Aerospace Safety Committee. This move is definitely designed to ensure another 737 MAX-like crisis does not engulf Boeing again.

It is unclear who will be leading the team and what their exact role will be. However, Boeing noted that the new director would have “deep safety experience and expertise.” It is unclear if Boeing intends to promote from within or bring on a new hire.

Boeing is looking to rebuild its safety reputation. Photo: Boeing

CEO Muilenburg and the future of Boeing

CEO Dennis Muilenburg is set to sit in front of Congress later this month. He will likely face strict questioning in regard to Boeing’s safety assessments and development processes. As a result, this move is designed to show Boeing’s plans for rectifying any potential gaps that may have led to the issues facing the 737 MAX. At the same time, Boeing hopes this move will help fortify their reputation in the market as they continue to move forward with the 777X.

Boeing 777X
Boeing wants to project an image of confidence and safety as they also proceed with their 777X. Photo: Boeing

Upcoming aircraft

Boeing also has to look ahead at developing new aircraft. Aside from the 777X, Boeing is examining options for a new middle-of-the-market plane. This includes examining a retooling of the 767- dubbed the 767X.

Boeing 767
Boeing is examining possibilities for offering a new middle-of-the-market aircraft. Photo: Boeing

However, as of now, it seems that Boeing is looking to mitigate the crisis stemming from the 737 MAX groundings. Separating CEO Dennis Muilenburg’s role and that of the chairman is one way of projecting confidence that Boeing can weather this crisis and continue to remain a dominant aircraft manufacturer.

What do you make of these latest developments? Do you trust CEO Dennis Muilenburg? Let us know in the comments!