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Boeing chief executive resigns amid ongoing 737 MAX scandal

The former CEO was seen as tone deaf about 346 people killed in two crashes involving the aircraft.

A Ryanair 737 Max jet sits on a runway following the grounding of the jets earlier this year
A Ryanair 737 Max jet sits on a runway following the grounding of the jets earlier this year
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

BOEING CHIEF EXECUTIVE, Dennis Muilenburg has resigned from his position amid the ongoing 737 MAX crisis.

The company named chairman David Calhoun as its new chief executive, saying the company needed to “restore confidence” and “repair relationships with regulators, customers and all other stakeholders” as a result of the ongoing scandal.

The move comes a week after Boeing took the step of temporarily shutting down production of MAX jets because of the crisis, which has pushed the aircraft’s return to the skies into 2020. 

Earlier this year, the entire 737 MAX fleet was grounded by aviation authorities after two fatal crashes involving the 737 MAX 8 edition of the aircraft: one with Indonesian Lion Air and another with Ethiopian Airlines.

The disasters damaged the company’s reputation and led to numerous lawsuits from the families of victims.

Several airlines, including Ryanair, were also affected because the controversy led to delays in the delivery of the new aircraft.

However, Muilenburg’s response to the crisis was criticised after the MAX grounding dragged on far longer than initially expected, as more disturbing details leaked about the certification of the aircraft.

The former CEO was also seen as tone deaf and awkward towards families of the 346 people killed in the two crashes.

Following his resignation, Boeing pledged to “operate with a renewed commitment to full transparency, including effective and proactive communication with the [Federal Aviation Authority], other global regulators and its customers”.

The aerospace giant’s financial outlook remains uncertain following the scandal, although its shares jumped by 3.4% following news of Muilenburg’s resignation.

The company took another hit to its reputation over on Sunday when its Starliner spacecraft landed six days early after a failed mission to rendezvous with the International Space Station.

With reporting from - © AFP 2019

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