Boeing announced Monday that CEO Dennis Muilenburg has resigned as CEO and that Board Chairman David Calhoun will step in as CEO and president effective Jan. 13.
Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith will serve as interim CEO during the transition, a statement from the company said.
Muilenburg's resignation comes following a disastrous year for the aerospace company after the 737 Max was grounded worldwide in March following the second of two crashes that killed a combined total of 346 people. The company had hoped to get the plane back in the air by next year, but setbacks forced the company to announce it would temporarily halt production of the Max series next month amid uncertainty on when the FAA would approve the plane for flying.
Boeing already cut production of the Max from 52 planes per month to 42 in mid-April.
Muilenburg, 55, took over as CEO in July 2015 after previously holding the chairman role, a seat he relinquished in October. Muilenburg has worked at the company several other roles stretching back to 1985.
"On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I am pleased that Dave has agreed to lead Boeing at this critical juncture," Board member Lawrence W. Kellner said. He added, "Dave has deep industry experience and a proven track record of strong leadership, and he recognizes the challenges we must confront. The Board and I look forward to working with him and the rest of the Boeing team to ensure that today marks a new way forward for our company."
"I strongly believe in the future of Boeing and the 737 MAX," Calhoun said in the statement. "I am honored to lead this great company and the 150,000 dedicated employees who are working hard to create the future of aviation."
Boeing's 737 Max was the company's best-selling commercial jet, but has remained grounded despite the company's efforts to clear a new software fix with regulators.
The announcement comes one day after Boeing's Starliner capsule landed in New Mexico following a failed mission to the International Space Station after the scheduled orbital insertion burn to "catch up" with the ISS didn't occur after the spacecraft burned too much fuel.
Boeing promised to operate with a "renewed commitment to full transparency, including effective and proactive communication" with the FAA, its customers and other global agencies.
Photo: Getty Images