Boeing CEO Dennis A. Muilenburg lost his role as chairman in a company shift to focus on the 737 Max crisis. File Photo by Bryan R. Smith/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Boeing removed CEO Dennis Muilenburg as chairman of the board, the company said, to give him time to focus on operations amid the 737 Max crisis.
"I am fully supportive of the board's action," Muilenburg said in a company statement Friday. "Our entire team is laser-focused on returning the 737 MAX safely to service and delivering on the full breadth of our company's commitments."
In Muilenburg's place, the board elected David L. Calhoun, current independent lead director, to serve as non-executive chairman, the company statement said.
"The board has full confidence in Dennis as CEO and believes this division of labor will enable maximum focus on running the business with the board playing an active oversight role," Calhoun said in the statement. "
The shift comes as Boeing faces numerous probes and backlash over two fatal 737 Max planes crashes within six months of each other. One crashed in October 2018 in Indonesia shortly after takeoff, killing all 189 aboard. The other killed all 157 aboard when it crashed in March, shortly after takeoff in Ethiopia.
After the second crash, the Federal Aviation Administration grounded the Boeing 737 Max aircraft.
Investigations have shown faulty angle-of-attack sensors pushed both planes into a nose dive when they fed erroneous data to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System.
In April, the FAA launched a task force with NASA, called the Joint Authorities Technical Review team, to analyze Boeing's fix for its MCAS.
On Friday, the JATR releases its report on findings and recommendations.
"The JATR team found that the MCAS was not evaluated as a complete and integrated function in the certification documents that were submitted to the FAA," the report stated. "The lack of a unified top-down development and evaluation of the system function and its safety analyses, combined with the extensive and fragmented documentation, made it difficult to assess whether compliance was fully demonstrated."
The JATR recommended the FAA conduct a workforce review of the Boeing Aviation Safety Oversight Office engineer staffing level to ensure sufficient numbers for adequate performance.
Last month, the FAA ordered inspections on another type of Boeing 737 -- the NG model -- due to structural cracks.