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Boeing Names New CEO As 737 Max Struggles Continue, Says Change Necessary To Restore Confidence

Boeing Co (NYSE: BA) CEO Dennis Muilenburg has resigned effectively immediately, the plane manufacturer announced Monday, and current Chairman David Calhoun has been named as CEO and president beginning Jan. 13. 

Benzinga · 12/23/2019 14:50

Boeing Co (NYSE: BA) CEO Dennis Muilenburg has resigned effectively immediately, the plane manufacturer announced Monday, and current Chairman David Calhoun has been named as CEO and president beginning Jan. 13. 

Boeing Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith will serve as interim CEO during the transition period while Calhoun exits his non-Boeing commitments.

Calhoun will remain a board member, and board member Lawrence Kellner will become Boeing's non-executive chairman effective immediately. 

The Boeing board 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, according to the company. 

The last year has been a rocky one for Boeing, with two of its 737 Max jets crashing in mass fatality accidents that killed a total of 346 people. The plane remains grounded worldwide, and Boeing announced last week that it would suspend production of the model beginning in January. 

Under the new leadership, Boeing said it will operate with a renewed commitment to full transparency, including effective and proactive communication with the FAA, other global regulators and its customers.

"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," Calhoun said in a statement.

On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Muilenburg appeared to have relied too heavily on data and legal advice to make decisions as he sought to find what went wrong, communicate and return the 737 Max to the skies. 

The outgoing CEO may not have fully grasped the severity of the challenges confronting him until recently, the newspaper reported. 

Trading of Boeing shares was halted during Monday's premarket session for the news release and resumed at 9:16 a.m. The stock was trading 3.68% higher at $340.21 at the time of publication. 

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