Boeing has fired its chief executive Dennis Muilenburg as it deals with a mounting crisis over the 737 Max aircraft.
In a statement, the company said a change in leadership was needed to “restore confidence” in the business.
The Boeing 737 Max has been grounded since March following two fatal crashes.
Boeing temporarily halted production of the 737 Max earlier this month after the Federal Aviation Administration said it would not approve the plane’s return to service before 2020.
Lawmakers are investigating Boeing following 737 Max crashes in Indonesia in October 2018, and Ethiopia in March. The disasters killed 346 people in total.
Air safety officials probing the crashes have identified the automated MCAS flight control system as a factor in both accidents.
Families of the victims welcomed Muilenberg’s departure as overdue but claimed that Boeing’s decision to replace him with a long-time board member raised questions about its commitment to change.
Michael Stumo, who lost his daughter Samya Rose on the Ethiopian Airlines flight and has organised victims’ families against Boeing, called the resignation a “good first step toward restoring Boeing to a company that focuses on safety and innovation”.
“The next step is for several board members who are underperforming or unqualified to resign,” he said.
David Calhoun, who has served on the board since 2009, will serve as chief executive and president from January 13.
forward as it works to repair relationships with regulators, customers, and all other stakeholders.
“Under the company’s new leadership, Boeing will operate with a renewed commitment to full transparency, including effective and proactive communication with the FAA [US Federal Aviation Administration], other global regulators and its customers.”
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