Boeing has announced a change of leadership on its 737 Max programme several months after two of the aircraft were involved in fatal crashes.
Kevin McAllister has been replaced as president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes by Stan Deal, former chief of Boeing Global Services, effective immediately.
McAllister has led the division for the last three years and had been overseeing a series of changes to the 737 Max, which was involved in two commercial airline crashes months apart that killed a total of 346 people.
Deal has been with Boeing since 1986 and is a member of the company’s executive council. Prior to heading up the Global Services division, he held a number of leadership positions at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, including running its supply chain and serving as sales leader for the Asia Pacific region.
Replacing Deal in his former role is Ted Colbert, interim CIO and SVP of Information Technology and Data Analytics, which will be filled by Vishwa Uddanwadiker.
Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg commented: “Our entire Boeing team is focused on operational excellence, aligned with our values of safety, quality and integrity, and we’re committed to delivering on our commitments and regaining trust with our regulators, customers and other stakeholders. Stan brings extensive operational experience at Commercial Airplanes and trusted relationships with our airline customers and industry partners; and Ted brings to our Global Services business an enterprise approach to customers and strong digital business expertise – a key component of our long-term growth plans.
“We’re grateful to Kevin for his dedicated and tireless service to Boeing, its customers and its communities during a challenging time, and for his commitment to support this transition.”
Muilenburg himself has been ousted as chairman of Boeing’s board to enable him “to sharpen his focus full time on running the company, delivering on our customer commitment, and strengthening our focus on product and services safety.”
Deal’s appointment comes after Boeing said it remained confident the 737 Max will return to service in the near future despite rumours that an official report into the first crash – on a Lion Air flight in October 2018 – due to be published this Friday names mechanical and design problems as contributors to the accident. It reportedly specifically highlights the aircraft’s Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), which was designed to prevent the plane from stalling but may have incorrectly forced the nose of the aircraft down.
An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board in the US found Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration made ‘incorrect assumptions’ about how pilots would react to the problem they encountered in the accidents.