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Boeing Fires C.E.O. Dennis Muilenburg

When Dennis A. Muilenburg, Boeing’s chief executive, testified before Congress in October, he faced withering criticism from lawmakers and crash victims’ families.Credit...Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Boeing has been mired in crisis since the crashes of two of its 737 Max jets killed 346 people. 

Boeing on Monday fired its chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg

The company said Dave Calhoun, the chairman, would replace Mr. Muilenburg, on Jan. 13. Until then, Boeing’s chief financial officer, Greg Smith, will serve as interim chief executive, the company said. 

The Boeing board made the decision on a call on Sunday, after a string of disastrous announcements for the company, according to two people briefed on the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Mr. Muilenburg has stepped down effective immediately. 

Boeing has been mired in crisis since the crashes of two 737 Max jets killed 346 people. The plane has been grounded since March, and Boeing has faced cascading delays as it tries to return the Max to the air. 

Last week, Boeing said it would temporarily shut down the 737 Max factory. Mr. Muilenburg’s relationship with the Federal Aviation Administration was badly damaged after he was seen to pressure the agency to return the planes to service. And on Friday, a Boeing space capsule designed for NASA failed to reach the correct orbit, a crushing blow to company morale. 

Boeing stock has fallen by 22 percent in this crisis, costing the company more than $8 billion and affecting a supply chain that extends to 8,000 companies.

As recently as Friday, the Boeing board was standing by Mr. Muilenburg. At a board meeting in Chicago last week where the production shutdown was deliberated, there was no talk of removing Mr. Muilenburg, according to two people familiar with the matter. On Friday, a company spokesman said Mr. Calhoun still stood by comments he made in November saying the board supported Mr. Muilenburg. 

But over the weekend, simmering frustration with Mr. Muilenburg’s performance came to a head. 

Boeing said in a statement that its board of directors “decided that a change in leadership was necessary to restore confidence in the company moving forward as it works to repair relationships with regulators, customers, and all other stakeholders.”

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