18:18 GMT29 November 2020
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    In an effort to more adequately grapple with the debacle created by its 737 MAX airliner, Boeing's board of directors announced Friday it would split the jobs of chairman and chief executive officer into two positions, giving the new non-executive chairman the ability to more fully focus on the problem.

    Following the decision, Dennis A. Muilenburg remains the company's CEO, president and director, while the board elected David L. Calhoun, presently the independent lead director, to become the non-executive chairman.

    A press release noted the split "will enable Muilenburg to focus full time on running the company."

    "The board has full confidence in Dennis as CEO and believes this division of labor will enable maximum focus on running the business with the board playing an active oversight role," Calhoun said in the release. "The board also plans in the near term to name a new director with deep safety experience and expertise to serve on the board and its newly established Aerospace Safety Committee."

    "I am fully supportive of the board's action. Our entire team is laser-focused on returning the 737 MAX safely to service and delivering on the full breadth of our company's commitments," said Muilenburg.

    Boeing has come under extensive criticism since a pair of fatal airliner crashes just a couple of months apart drew attention to the company's questionable business practices, including cutting safety corners and adding new software to its jets without telling pilots about the changes. Following the second Boeing 737 MAX 8 crash in March, countries around the world banned the plane from service until Boeing fixed the problems.


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