Boeing Chairman praises Muilenburg, signals he will stay

CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Saturday offered to give up significant compensation for 2019. Sarah Silbiger  Reuters

Boeing's chairman today gave a forceful vote of confidence in CEO Dennis Muilenburg amid calls in Congress for the embattled Boeing chief executive to resign after two deadly crashes.

Boeing Co Chairman Dave Calhoun said on Tuesday that the company's board believes Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg "has done everything right" just days after he came under attack from US lawmakers on Capitol Hill after two fatal crashes involving Boeing 737 MAX airliners.

"To day he has our assurance", Calhoun claimed. While the FAA practice of delegating oversight to subject experts at Boeing has contributed to aviation safety, that wasn't true for the Max, Calhoun acknowledged.

A Boeing 737 Max operated by Lion Air crashed in Indonesia last October killing 189 people and, five months later, an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed causing 157 deaths.

Mr Calhoun said Muilenburg had asked not to receive a bonus for 2019 after lawmakers lambasted him over his pay at a Capitol Hill hearing last week.

After two days of brutal, back-to-back grilling in Washington that, among other things, focused on the size of CEO Dennis Muilenburg's compensation, the Boeing boss told the board of directors he would not be taking a bonus this year.

Calhoun stated the crashes also exposed "flawed" assumptions about how pilots would respond to a malfunction of the process.

When discussing how to revitalize the brand, Calhoun said they would rely on their actions instead of words.

DeFazio faulted Muilenburg's responses to many questions as "consistent with a culture of concealment and opaqueness". "The bottom line is that there are a lot of unanswered questions, and our investigation has a long way to go to get the answers everyone deserves".

But Calhoun explained criticism of Boeing's corporate tradition skipped the mark.

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.

He said the 737 Max might not return to service "in its entirety" until 2021.

"We're likely to guidance Dennis".

In 2018, Muilenburg 's pay rose 27% from the previous year, consisting of $1.7 million in salary and a $13 million bonus, according to regulatory filings.

Boeing chairman David Calhoun told CNBC on Tuesday that Muilenberg called him Saturday morning to suggest he not take his bonus, which accounts for a large chunk of his total compensation, in 2019.

Representatives Peter DeFazio and Rick Larsen said in a joint letter to fellow lawmakers that Boeing Co Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg's answers at Wednesday's hearing "were consistent with a culture of concealment and opaqueness and reflected the vast pressure exerted on Boeing employees during the development and production of the 737 MAX".

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