Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg lost his title as chairman of the board on Saturday, seven months after the second of two deadly crashes of the industrial giant’s 737 Max aircraft. David Calhoun, current independent lead director, was named non-executive chairman.
Boeing shares were little changed in pre-market trading.
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“The board said splitting the chairman and CEO roles 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,” Boeing said in a press release. “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.”
The 737 Max, the best-selling model in Boeing's history, was grounded in March after two crashes killed more than 300 people, prompting scrutiny of its anti-stall software. Regulators demanded the planemaker devise a patch to prevent the software from acting on erroneous data and attempting to lower a plane's angle of ascent during takeoff.
The jet remains under review by U.S. and foreign regulators.
Boeing, which expects to return the 737 Max to the skies before year-end, hasn’t received a single order for the aircraft this year. In July, Boeing took a $4.9 billion charge related to the aircraft’s grounding.
Boeing is expected to report its third-quarter results ahead of the opening bell on Oct. 23. Analysts surveyed by IBES are expecting earnings of $2.23 a share on revenue of $19.8 billion.
Shares have fallen 11.3 percent since the 737 Max’s second accident on March 10.