The CEO of Boeing, Dennis Muilenburg, has been ousted from the company following the disastrous 2019 he oversaw. The crux of Muilenburg’s firing was the two Boeing 737 Max crashes that resulted in the deaths of all 346 people aboard, which shook public trust in the company.

Dennis Muilenburg appears before an FAA hearing
Barron’s

737 Max Specter Looms Large

The two high-profile 737 Max crashes highlighted a huge problem with Boeing’s research and development, as well as the certification process that goes into checking their planes.

The myriad investigations into Boeing have all but subsumed any normal operations at the company, as even a federal criminal investigation is ongoing.

That may sound extreme, but the company is responsible for the deaths of 346 people, so such investigations are understandable. Boeing could face serious legal issues, including potential fines from the FAA for failure to disclose information about the 737 Max.

As a direct result of the crashing and the ongoing investigations, Boeing has promised to discontinue production of the plane early in 2020.

Starliner Space Capsule

Another major embarrassment for the company came with the launch of the Starliner Space Capsule, a device which was meant to bring supplies to the International Space Station in orbit above the Earth.

A misfire of its flight control system put the capsule into the wrong orbit, causing it to miss the ISS and resulted in the mission being aborted altogether.

Boeing Chain of Succession

As Muilenburg gets the boot, the company’s board has tapped Boeing chairman David Calhoun to act as the CEO starting in January.

Calhoun will be given a few weeks to transition into being CEO, as his current engagements will require him to disentangle himself. Meanwhile, board member Lawrence Kellner will step up to become the non-executive chairman.

The move to oust Muilenburg saw immediate results for the company, as they were up three percent during morning trading on Monday after the news was announced.

Muilenburg, who became CEO in 2015, had been with Boeing since his days as an intern, and was a familiar face to the entire board. In October, he was removed from his duties as chairman to focus on the 737 Max scandal.