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Boeing just announced a new CEO in the midst of its 737 Max crisis. Here’s what you need to know about him.

Boeing announced on Monday that David Calhoun will become the aerospace company’s CEO and president effective January 13, following the firing of former CEO Dennis Muilenburg.

„Under the company’s new leadership, Boeing will operate with a renewed commitment to full transparency, including effective and proactive communication with the FAA, other global regulators and its customers,“ Boeing said in a press release. „Dave has deep industry experience and a proven track record of strong leadership, and he recognizes the challenges we must confront.“

Boeing CFO Greg Smith will serve as interim CEO until Calhoun’s tenure begins, Boeing said.

Calhoun had since October been the chairman of Boeing’s board of directors, on which he had served since 2009, and was a senior managing director at Blackstone Group, leading the firm’s private-equity portfolio operations division. Before working at Blackstone, Calhoun was the CEO and chairman of Nielsen Holdings and a senior executive at General Electric, where he led multiple divisions, including transportation, aircraft engines, and transportation systems.

„I am honored to lead this great company and the 150,000 dedicated employees who are working hard to create the future of aviation,“ Calhoun said in Monday’s press release.

Board member Lawrence Kellner will replace Calhoun as Boeing’s chairman.

The aviation giant has this year been gripped by a huge crisis over its handling of two crashes involving the 737 Max plane. The two crashes, in October 2018 and March 2019, killed a total of 346 people. At the time, Muilenburg said the company expected the plane to return to service within six weeks.

There’s still no set return date for the plane, as in-progress planes sit idle near Boeing’s factories. Airlines continue to push back their estimated dates of service, with United Airlines now estimating a June return.

„The Board of Directors decided that a change in leadership was necessary to restore confidence in the company moving forward as it works to repair relationships with regulators, customers, and all other stakeholders,“ Boeing said on Monday.

In the week before Muilenburg’s departure, Boeing faced big news for two of its other major products. Its CST-100 Starliner spaceship veered wildly off-course during its maiden flight, eventually having to return to Earth without docking to the International Space Station.

The company’s KC-46A aerial refueling tanker for cargo and passenger operation was reinstated for service by the US Air Force after a three-month ban.

Also last week, Moody’s and S&P downgraded Boeing’s debt to A3 and A-minus, respectively.

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