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Boeing drops Muilenburg as chairman, but stays as CEO

(AP)

Dennis Muilenburg will longer serve as Boeing’s chairman as of Friday. The company’s board of directors decided to separate the chairman role from the CEO position.

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Muilenburg will remain CEO of the company, as well as its president and director. But David Calhoun will step in to the role of non-executive chairman.

Calhoun is currently the company’s independent lead director.

“The board has full confidence in Dennis as CEO and believes this division of labor will enable maximum focus on running the business with the board playing an active oversight role,” Calhoun said. “The board also plans in the near term to name a new director with deep safety experience and expertise to serve on the board and its newly established Aerospace Safety Committee.”

The company announced the change Friday and stated that it will allow Muilenburg to “focus full time on running the company as it works to return the 737 MAX safely to service …”

“I am fully supportive of the board’s action. Our entire team is laser-focused on returning the 737 MAX safely to service and delivering on the full breadth of our company’s commitments,” Muilenburg said.

The news comes shortly after The Seattle Times reported that a “damning report” was released by an international panel of air-safety regulator experts. The group organized by the Federal Aviation Administration was highly critical of the process Boeing and the FAA used to approve the design of the 737 MAX’s flight control system that is blamed for two fatal crashes within a year.

The report states that the 737 MAX designs were not adequately reviewed or validated and that the MCAS system (a feature of the flight control system) “was not evaluated as a complete and integrated function in the certification documents that (Boeing) submitted to the FAA.”

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