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Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has stepped down as the company struggles to move beyond a major crisis prompted by the crashes of two 737 Max jetliners that killed 346 people and the subsequent worldwide grounding of the aircraft.
Boeing announced that David Calhoun, its current chairman, will become CEO and president beginning on January 13. Boeing announced in a press release that its board of directors decided to part ways with Muilenburg with immediate effect. Their decision follows the company’s statement earlier this month that it would halt production of the 737 Max, its bestselling aircraft, starting in January. Muilenburg’s handling of the crisis has angered lawmakers, regulators and victims’ families, and Boeing has had to deal with the damage to its reputation. Muilenburg became CEO in July 2015 after working in a number of difference roles at the company which he joined in 1985. Calhoun, a General Electric Co. veteran, is currently a senior executive at private equity firm Blackstone Group. He is a longtime director of Boeing who became chairman of the board in October replacing Muilenburg in a boardroom shakeup. Boeing Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith will take over as interim CEO until Calhoun steps into the role on January 13.