Boeing board of directors strips CEO of role as company chairman

In a move that was originally recommended by shareholder advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services Inc and Glass Lewis six months ago, Boeing’s board of directors has stripped Dennis Muilenburg of his chairmanship title shortly after the plane maker was severely criticized over the development of the 737 MAX. The board has confirmed that it still has “full confidence” in Muilenburg’s skills and he will retain his role as CEO, while the company issued a statement saying: “This decision is the latest of several actions by the board of directors and Boeing senior leadership to strengthen the company’s governance and safety management processes.”

The Joint Authorities Technical Review (JATR) had found fault in the way that Boeing had made assumptions in the design of the 737 MAX and could have disclosed more information to the FAA. The FAA was also chastised in the way it dealt with certification for the 737 MAX with significant reform recommended in the way it evaluates and certifies new airplanes.

According to Reuters news agency, an internal review in August revealed that Boeing was working to reorganize its engineering reporting lines company-wide to ensure higher ranking officials, including its CEO, get faster feedback about potential safety concerns from lower levels of the company.

Boeing intends to name a new director with extensive safety experience and expertise who will serve on the board as well as a newly created Aerospace Safety Committee. Last week it was confirmed that a key certification test flight would not take place until the beginning of November, the knock-on effect being that any flights would be unlikely to take place until December. 

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