Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg getting fired really did not come as surprising news to many. It wasn’t a question of if, but when.
Yes, Dennis Muilenburg, the CEO of Boeing, has been fired indeed
This morning, we all woke up as the people’s Christmas wish that became true. It is as close to wishing upon a star and seeing dreams come true.
While that is not the lyrics to the Jiminy Cricket Song, I can tell you that people around the world were asking for accountability of the 737 Max fiasco.
Sure, Christmas came a little bit early!
Surely the Board of Directors of Boeing was not going to time it to Christmas. The New York Financial Markets (being the NYSE and the NASDAQ) close at 1 PM Christmas Eve, and the last day to get a full day of action was today.
Was the firing of Boeing CEO Muilenburg planned?
That is the million-dollar question that everybody is asking. While aviation analysts and followers of these matters such as myself do not see this as surprising (as it is the low tide of news), it certainly brings spice to an industry where the flavor of the month has been everything regarded as “The 737 Max fiasco.”
I can surely tell you that that the board contemplated giving the CEO a way out, a gracious way to get his affairs in order. According to sources, Muilenburg wanted to depart after the fiasco was over.
Unfortunately, it was not aligned with the Board’s execution and leadership change as the company has grown a tarnished reputation after the two Boeing 737 Max accidents.
The Boeing Board wanted to Repair Relationships
The Board of Directors wishes to distance themselves from my Boeing piece and as the stewards of the company, they think that a change in leadership would be the best in the long run as it repairs relations with regulators in the United States and Overseas along with airlines and suppliers.
I happen to agree with them.
The problem the Directors had was that management provided updates too slow to a dissatisfying result at times, which, often caused surprises along the way, according to sources within Boeing.
The Starliner Space Capsule maiden flight added even more setbacks to the company. Before the problems with the Starliner were disclosed to the public on Friday, the Former CEO Muilenburg congratulated the Starliner team.
Is this a new low for Boeing?
For the company, this is a new low since Boeing had to dismiss former Boeing CFO, Michael Sears. That resulted in a Pentagon investigation that brought the dismissal of Darleen Druyun, an Air Force procurement official at the Pentagon.
Sears extended an employment offer to Darleen while in negotiations with the Pentagon over a 20 billion contract to supply aerial refueling tankers in 2003.
In the end, Druyun was sentenced to nine months in federal prison after a meeting to Boeing to enhance her job prospects with the company. Michael Sears, the former CFO of Boeing, also plead guilty to a conflict of interest charge. As a result of this, it led to the resignation of Boeing’s chief executive Philip M. Condit.
That was for Federal Contracting. If we count for public safety, the FAA ordered all U.S. airlines to inspect more than 1,400 planes manufactured by Boeing to verify if they were appropriately equipped with a wired fuel pump. The fuel pump could cause an explosion in the rare event that fuel went below minimal levels.
Dave Calhoun and Larry Kellner
Now, whether Boeing gets charged in federal court and slapped with a fine this time around depends on the transparency and cooperation of the Board of Directors for Boeing, its new CEO, Dave Calhoun. Calhoun continues as its non-executive Chairman until January 13.
His successor, Larry Kellner, will take over from Mr. Calhoun as the new nonexecutive chairman. He is a veteran airline executive on the Boeing board since 2011 and a former Continental Airlines CEO.
Why is the appointment of Calhoun interesting?
Boeing it’s trying to send a signal that it is a different company that is going to try different tactics, and that is going to be more transparent. Still, they have too many hurdles to clear, which are the same as the ones Muilenburg had.
Hopefully, this was the change they needed.
In the meantime, people are celebrating that their Christmas Wish had become real. Now, what about the wish of the 737 MAX? Can Santa give wishes twice?
Best of luck to Dave Calhoun, Larry Kellner, and all the people from Boeing in 2020!
What did you think when you heard that Muilenburg, the CEO of Boeing, had been fired! ? Was it overdue? Do you feel that Muilenburg should be held accountable for the events that led to the 737 Max accidents? Comments? You can contact Alex Martinez Rivera here.
Featured Image: Boeing.