Congressman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure:

“Based on what we’ve discovered so far in our investigation into the design, development and certification of the Boeing 737 MAX, it’s clear Dennis Muilenburg’s ouster was long overdue. Under his watch, a long-admired company made a number of devastating decisions that suggest profit took priority over safety. Furthermore, reports that Muilenburg attempted to pressure FAA into rushing the MAX back into service are highly troubling and I commend Administrator Dickson for making it known that FAA will take as much time as it needs to ensure safety comes first. … I hope the decision to remove Muilenburg means that Boeing is also ready to mark a new chapter in its commitment to safety and accountability.”

The nose section of a 737 MAX, framed by the wingtips of neighboring 737s, have their engines, landing gear, and front nose sensors protected from the weather at the Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake Washington. Nearly 200 completed Boeing 737 MAX airplanes, built for airlines worldwide, are currently parked at his Eastern Washington airport.
 In March 2019, aviation authorities around the world grounded the passenger airliner after two separate crashes.

Photographed on November 13, 2019. 212113 212113


Henry Harteveldt, president/travel industry analyst at Atmosphere Research Group:

“This was a very difficult, but necessary decision for Boeing to make. It’s a matter of accountability. Mr. Muilenburg is an intelligent man, he spent his career at Boeing, he’s an engineer and he’s fact-based. But the slowness of Boeing’s ability to address the problems with the 737 MAX, coupled with Boeing’s initial public response and even how they interacted with safety regulators I think just culminated. Boeing was so cold, almost calculated, with its initial comments and then, when they did respond, there was absolutely no measure of compassion or empathy in the company’s initial public comments. Mr. Muilenburg’s first interviews, likewise, were very measured. After the crash of two aircraft with 346 people killed as a result, a worldwide grounding, and people terrified to fly this airplane — not just passengers, but pilots and flight attendants, too — they needed someone out there with the background to say these problems occurred, it’s my responsibility to get them fixed so they never happen again, and then ensure that the MAX is as safe as possible when it’s put back into service. It’s a matter of the buck stopping with Mr. Muilenburg as CEO of the company and acknowledging the problems. Someone has to show true leadership.”

Congressman Rick Larsen, D-Everett, chair of the House Aviation Subcommittee:

“Nothing is more important than the safety of the traveling public. As chair of the Aviation Subcommittee, I remain committed to the thorough oversight of the 737 MAX certification process and ensuring the aircraft’s safe return to service. The Committee’s oversight investigation will continue into 2020. I will continue to keep the 346 victims of the two tragic 737 MAX crashes and their families at the forefront, as well as the dedicated women and men of Boeing who design, assemble and build the aircraft. Finally, the 737 MAX should not return to service until the FAA determines it is safe to do so. The Committee will continue to work with FAA Administrator Dickson and his team on safety while it also explores changes to the certification process for the future.”

Richard Aboulafia, vice president at aerospace and defense consulting firm Teal Group:

“This seemed inevitable and necessary and it’s a good short-term step, but I think the real danger is if this endures for the long term. You’re having (David) Calhoun step in, and he’s going to have a better presence out there than Dennis Muilenburg, He’s going to reassure people — everyone from employees to the public to Congress. And, if he follows it up with an effort to make things more transparent, then that will be very welcome. But in terms of his background, this may be the wrong skill-set to change Boeing. He’s been on Boeing’s board for 10 years, coming from the private equity industry and from GE in the Jack Welch era. This is the kind of resume that Boeing has not been lacking and it’s not as if he’s bringing a fresh perspective. That’s not to say you need someone from the outside, but ideally, you’d have a combination of commercial market exposure, program management experience and an engineering background, or at least a strong understanding and appreciation for engineering. That’s what’s been lacking at Boeing, and that’s what this company really needs.”