Boeing fires its CEO amid more 737 Max fallout

leadership Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg resigned effective immediately, the company announced Monday morning. Muilenburg, who up until a few months ago was also chairman of the company, is leaving Boeing’s board as well.

The decision came Sunday night after a call with the Boeing board where Muilenburg was asked to resign, CBS News’ Kris Van Cleave reports.

David Calhoun, Boeing’s current chairman, is taking over as its CEO. Calhoun is currently the head of private equity operations at money management giant Blackstone and a former General Electric executive. He is also the lead director of the board of construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar.

Boeing’s stock rose on the news, opening 3.6% higher Monday morning.

Calhoun will take over as CEO in mid-January after he wraps up non-Boeing related business. Calhoun had expressed interest in the CEO job in the past, according to insiders.

The ouster comes after Muilenburg failed to lead the company through a swift repair and ungrounding of the 737 Max.

Boeing has been sharply criticized by regulators for providing incomplete information and paperwork, as well as pressuring agencies to speed up the approval process. But Muilenburg, a former Boeing intern and lifelong Boeing employee, has steadfastly denied he was being pressured to resign despite calls from members of Congress, victims’ families and mounting pressure from Wall Street.

On Monday, though, the board in a statement said “a change in leadership was necessary to restore confidence” in the company as it works to repair relationships with regulators and stakeholders. The Max was grounded worldwide in March after two crashes of its jet killed 346 people.

Calhoun says he strongly believes in the future of Boeing and the 737 Max.

Max production on hold

The leadership change follows Boeing’s announcement last week that it would halt Max production in January.

Then United Airlines said it would pull the Boeing 737 Max from its flight schedule until June. The same day, Spirit AeroSystems, which makes fuselages, said it would end deliveries intended for the Max in January, and Boeing’s new Starliner capsule went off course on a planned trip to the International Space Station.

Board member Lawrence Kellner will become non-executive chairman of the board.

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

CBS News’ Kris Van Cleave and the Associated Press contributed reporting.

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