Boeing chair defends CEO over 737 MAX

Boeing's chief executive Dennis Muilenburg has the support of the company's new chairman

Boeing's chief executive Dennis Muilenburg has the support of the company's new chairman

What? No bonus? Boeing boss gives up perks after Senate grilling over 737 crashes Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg has decided not to take a bonus for 2019 after U.S. lawmakers hammered him over compensation during Capitol Hill hearings last week in the wake of two 737 MAX plane crashes.

Calhoun said that Muilenburg will receive no stock grants until the plane, grounded since March, is fully back in service.

The former General Electric Co. vice-chairman, who has expertise in aerospace manufacturing and corporate turnarounds, was named chairman when Muilenburg was stripped of the role on october 11.

Boeing is under investigation by the Justice Department and Congress. Muilenburg testified last week before two congressional committees, and lawmakers questioned him closely about messages in which a Boeing test pilot seemed to raise concerns about MCAS and said he "unknowingly" lied to regulators, and a production manager said speeding up the Max assembly line raised safety issues.

But he also said that the Boeing board would continue to make assessments as to whether or not Muilenburg is the right person to lead the company.

"It was a significant move on his part", Calhoun said.

United States airlines are not planning on using the plane until at least January or February, and it could take longer in other parts of the world, where regulators want to conduct their own reviews of Boeing's work.

Speaking to House and Senate lawmakers across two days of contentious hearings last week, Muilenburg was grilled on his pay, and urged to take a pay cut by some.

"Reform has to happen.

It's at least a year", said Calhoun. "The system let everybody down", Calhoun, a managing director at Blackstone Group Inc., said in the half-hour interview. "So be it. I get that".

In crisp comments that contrasted with Muilenburg's occasionally hesitant responses before Congress, Calhoun acknowledged that the control system implicated both crashes was flawed. "It was a set of engineering decisions that ended up being wrong", Calhoun said.

But Calhoun said criticism of Boeing's corporate culture missed the mark.

The CEO will presumably still get a salary, which was $1.7 million previous year.

Mr Muilenburg received a bonus worth more than €11.6 million million in 2018. He also received other taxable perks such as use of the company aircraft and life insurance premiums.

While Calhoun praised Muilenburg, the chairman said support depends on the CEO's continued performance through the Max crisis.

While Boeing could take steps to strengthen the visibility of its commitment to safety, "I do not believe that this instance is indicative of a cultural problem", he said.

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