Congressman scorches Boeing CEO for taking $30M salary after 737 Max crashes

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg faced a second day of grilling by members of Congress on Wednesday.

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Muilenberg appeared before the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure to answer questions about the mistakes that were made in the development of its MCAS stall-prevention software system.

What was maybe the tensest exchange of the day occurred when Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) asked Muilenberg why he was still making $30 million a year if he was accountable for the two 737 Max crashes that killed more than 300 people.

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Check out the exchange below:

Rep. Cohen: “Let me ask you this Mr. Muilenberg. You said you’re accountable. What does accountability mean? Are you taking a cut in pay? Are you working for free from now on til you can cure this problem? These people’s relatives are not coming back. They’re gone. Your salary is still on. Is anybody at Boeing taking a cut or working for free to try and rectify this problem, like the Japanese would do?”

Muilenberg: “Congressman, it’s not about the money for me.”

Rep. Cohen: “Are you giving up any money?”

Muilenberg: “Congressman, my board will conduct a comprehensive review”

Rep. Cohen: “So you’re saying you’re not giving up any compensation at all. You’re continuing to work and make $30 million a year after this horrific two accidents that caused all these people’s relatives to go, to disappear, to die. You’re not taking a cut in pay at all?”

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Muilenberg: “Congressman, again our board will make those determinations.”

Rep. Cohen: “You’re not accountable then. You're saying the board’s accountable.”

Muilenberg: “Congressman, I am accountable, sir.”

Wednesday’s testimony comes one day after Muilenberg faced scrutiny from several members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) who told the Boeing CEO that “the buck stops” with him.

The 737 Max was grounded in March, following the second crash. Boeing expects the aircraft to return to the skies before the end of the year. However, U.S. and global regulators haved not cleared the aircraft to return to the skies, according to reports.

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The planemaker said sales plunged 21 percent in the third quarter as the grounding of the aircraft continued to halt deliveries.