Denis Muilenberg, CEO of Boeing has finally resigned and been replaced with Davi L Calhoun, who is currently the board chairman.
Muilenberg will forever be associated with the crisis that engulfed the 737MAX and the profit motivated culture that drove Boeing to reduce quality and standards to a point that the design, certification and manufacturing processes became effectively, dysfunctional.
This resulted in the deaths of almost 400 people in 2018-19 aboard two of its faulty 737MAX aircraft.
Despite his apparent attempts at sincerity in ‘apologising’ for the incidents, something the company has failed to really ever do, the company has followed a devious and double handed approach to the crisis.
With one side of its PR machine lobbying the FAA, Congress and the Administration to get the re-certification sped up, the other side has been expressing an almost cold lack of sympathy to anyone involved.
CEO’s are often limited in such circumstances by what their lawyers will let them do and and say, but are just as much pressured by shareholders and board members to preserve the bottom line come what may.
Rumour has it that the flat refusal of the FAA to speed up the process and the airlines pressuring for more and more details as they extend their cancellation periods well into June 2020, has finally made it possible for him to leave, no doubt with “sadness, and to pursue other opportunities while spending time with his family” and enjoying the huge payouts and bonuses he acquired over the years.
Burying the news just before Christmas will make sure in the best traditions of PR, that the news cycle will be short and sharp and the new year will start with a fresh face in charge at the top. I suspect the whole thing has long been planned.