Boeing splits CEO and chairman role amidst 737 MAX issue

The Boeing Company is splitting the chairman and CEO role, in a move which will see Dennis A. Muilenburg (pictured below) continue as CEO, president and director. Boeing's board of directors said the split will enable Muilenburg to focus full time on running the company as it works to return the 737 MAX safely to service, ensure full support to Boeing's customers around the world, and implement changes to sharpen Boeing's focus on product and services safety.

In his role, Muilenberg oversees the strategic direction of Boeing, which has about 150,000 employees across the US and in more than 65 countries. He became CEO in July 2015 and December 2013, and served as chairman of the board from March 2016 to October this year. Before that, Muilenburg served as president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security .

Boeing's board has elected David L. Calhoun, current independent lead director, to serve as non-executive chairman. 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.

"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," said Muilenburg.

Calhoun added that the board has full confidence in Muilenburg as CEO and believes this division of labour will enable maximum focus on running the business with the board playing an active oversight role.

"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," he added.

Boeing recently announced that it is paying families of the 346 victims of the Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Flight 302 accidents US$144,500 each. The company previously said that the US$50 million fund represents the initial expenditure of a US$100 million pledge by Boeing to address family and community needs of those affected by the accidents. The remaining US$50 million in funds will support education and economic empowerment in impacted communities.