The executive director of Boeing in charge of commercial aircraft has left, the company announced on Tuesday. He is the highest-ranking departing employee, with the airline maker struggling to cope with the crash following the crash of two 737 Max planes that killed 346 people.
The CEO, Kevin McAllister, was at the center of the company's efforts to repair an automated system that contributed to both crashes and put the aircraft back in service. This month, The New York Times reported that it has been scrutinized inside the company for its poor customer relationship management and management of the Boeing's largest business division.
Leaving him adds a new element of volatility to the biggest crisis in the company's 103-year history. Max aircraft have been grounded since March and cost Boeing at least $ 8 billion and disrupt the global aviation industry.
"We thank Kevin for his dedicated and tireless service to Boeing, his clients and his communities during a challenging time and his commitment to support this transition," said CEO Denis A. Müllenburg in a statement.
Mr McAllister's news comes days after the announcements went public, suggesting a pilot to work on Max voiced concerns about the automated system in 2016, months before the Federal Aviation Administration certified the aircraft.
These reports undermine Boeing's long-held position that there is no indication that Max was dangerous until the last crash of the Lion Air Flight 610 in Indonesia in October and the flight of Ethiopian Airlines in March 302.
After landing Max shortly after the second crash, airlines canceled thousands of flights and lost hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
Max's return to service has been delayed many times in recent months as Boeing and global regulators discover new problems with the aircraft. Airlines do not expect the aircraft to fly again until next year.
Boeing stated that if delays continue for much longer, may be forced to halt Max production, a drastic step that will disrupt Boeing's enormous production workforce and its vast network of suppliers.
Boeing faces numerous investigations and litigation related to catastrophes, including a criminal investigation conducted by the Department of Justice. Boeing is scheduled to report quarterly earnings on Wednesday, and Mr. Muilenburg is set to testify to Congress next week.
The sales department deals with problems outside of Max. These include allegations of wretched production at the Boeing plant in Charleston, S.C .; crack of 737 NG, Max's predecessor; and the discovery of foreign objects in the KC-46 tanker, a military aircraft the group is building.