Boeing Fires CEO Amid Failure To Navigate 737MAX Crisis

737MAX8 pjs2005 [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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Boeing fired their CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, this morning.

It’s amazing that he lasted this long.

Boeing’s 737MAX design was rushed and the system was designed to fail. Corners were cut in order to get the plane to market and remain competitive with Airbus without actually spending big bucks to make an all-new 737 replacement aircraft. And people paid with their lives. Worst of all, Boeing knew about problems with the MCAS software and still sold the plane without even telling pilots about MCAS

CEO’s have fallen on their sword for a lot less than that, but the response to the crisis has been just as troubling. Boeing has been pressuring the FAA to re-certify the 737MAX before they were comfortable doing so. Punting on their responsibility as a regulator is exactly why the FAA lost their credibility in the first place.

The FAA head fired back to his employees, not to give into Boeing. That was a really bad look for Boeing.

In his words,

“In this process, the only driving force is safety, and the FAA fully controls the approval process…I know there’s a lot of pressure to return this aircraft to service quickly. But I want you to know that I want you to take the time you need and focus solely on safety. I’ve got your back.”


It’s great to see that Boeing is finally going in another direction.

As I wrote yesterday in the Sunday roundup,

“I’d be shocked if Boeing isn’t able resolve their 737MAX issues in 2020, but I wonder what this sordid saga has done to their long-term prospects.

The Airbus A350 is selling like hotcakes and they can’t make enough A320neos. Rather than wait for a Boeing 797, airlines are buying planes like the Airbus A321XLR. Rather than gambling on the 777-8X, Qantas will use the A350-1000 to fly ultra long-haul routes like Sydney to JFK and London. Boeing may never even build that plane variant now.

Boeing is certainly wounded. Whether they can recover and start innovating once again is the real question, as Airbus is running away with the show.”

A new CEO should go a long way to restoring Boeing back where it belongs. But with Airbus planes being more comfortable, reliable, and versatile than Boeing’s these days, that will be no small challenge. Years of under-investment (the 737 is now 52 years old and Boeing still has not put forward viable replacements for aging 757 and 767 aircraft) and lack of innovation are going to hurt Boeing for a long time to come.

HT: Leon F

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15 Comments On "Boeing Fires CEO Amid Failure To Navigate 737MAX Crisis"

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Shaul Morrison

Wasn’t the 787 built as a replacement for the 767?


I try as much as possible to avoid flying Boeing (when flying economy), because of the 17″ wide seats they now have in virtually all of their planes, as opposed to Airbus’ 18″.

A Sooper

basically all analysts are sticking by Boeing’s stock. I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom.


Corporate greed on full display is not irony.
NHTSA has better controls in place when it come to a car that only handles 5-7 people max. An airplane that flies miles up in the air with hundreds of more people has less safety checks. That’s what’s ironic.
Did this same thing not happen to Boeing when the first 787’s batteries caught fire while on runway a few years back.
Boeing cares not for the people that fly it. But, for its bottom line.
I said it in a comment (that never got published) about how aljazeera had made a documentary about the production of 787 and the corners that Boeing is cutting then to have it produced faster.


Is this a wise thing to do? Is that called looking forward and growing direction?


Boeing’s Solo goal was cash.
looking at planes and passengers like UPS cargo with boxes inside, If someone dies who cares we still made our profit.

A good idea would be, to force all new CEOs and board members, to fly at least 30 times on each new aircraft so that way, they will be testing it and certifying it.


He should be arrested


Dan, what do you say about it?


In the picture on this post, the plane should be nose down.

Customer service

Well written. Informative. Thanks


The airline deserve the blame as well. I remember reading that airlines, when buying an aircraft, have a choice of buying additional upgrades, including safety features (which should be standard), and they choose what they want. I’m pretty sure the cost is a big factor on what they order as appose to the safety.
If i’m correct, the airline had a choice to buy a back up to the MCAS, or something like that, and they chose to save the money