Calhoun replaces Muilenburg as Boeing CEO

Published: Thursday, January 9, 2020

Plane maker Boeing has named current chairman, David L. Calhoun, as CEO and president, effective January 13, 2020 to replace Dennis A. Muilenburg who has resigned from his positions as CEO and board director effective immediately. Calhoun will remain a member of the board.

In addition, board member Lawrence W. Kellner will become non-executive chairman of the board effective immediately.

The company also announced that Boeing CFO Greg Smith will serve as interim CEO during the brief transition period, while Calhoun exits his non-Boeing commitments.

Ronn Torossian, a crisis expert and CEO of leading PR agency 5W PR has commented on the situation in the past, both when the B737 crashes occurred and when the aircraft were originally grounded

He says, “The multiple Boeing crashes over the past year have caused panic among travelers and the aviation industry, with the 737 being grounded and the US Federal Aviation Administration reportedly investigating ‘production issues’ at Boeing’s Max factory. Boeing is already falling behind on its opportunity to regain lost public trust, and now the clock is ticking.

“Boeing needs to make the most of the time that the 737 is grounded, committing to efforts to rebuild consumer trust, as well as customer trust abroad. With Airbus continuing to make leaps on the international market, Boeing can’t afford doubts among either the consumer public or the consumer market, much less both.”

In a company statement, the board of directors “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.

“On behalf of the entire board of directors, I am pleased that Dave has agreed to lead Boeing at this critical juncture,” Kellner said.

He added, “Dave has deep industry experience and a proven track record of strong leadership, and he recognizes the challenges we must confront. The board and I look forward to working with him and the rest of the Boeing team to ensure that today marks a new way forward for our company.”

Calhoun said, “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.”