Boeing chair defends CEO over 737 MAX

Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg

Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg faced questions from US politicians about the 737 Max crashes Credit OLIVIER DOULIERY AFP

But lawmakers depicted the crashes as proof Boeing had slice corners on basic safety to hurry the MAX into company to compete with a aircraft from rival Airbus.

The plane has now been grounded around the world for almost a year following two deadly crashes that have called into question how the plane was ever certified to fly.

Lawmakers depicted the crashes as evidence Boeing had cut corners on safety to rush the MAX into service to compete with a plane from rival Airbus.

Despite the Muilenburg's decision to take a pay cut and amidst the criticism the company has been receiving, Calhoun assured that the Boeing board believes the CEO has done everything right during this crisis and that he still has the board's confidence in continuing to lead the company.

Calhoun told CNBC that his Saturday compensation discussion with Muilenburg "came in two fronts: one, no short-, no long-term bonus, and three, no consideration for [stock] equity grants until the Max in its entirety is back in the air and flying safely".

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"To date he has our confidence", Davud Calhoun said.

Last week, lawmakers grilled Muilenburg about his $23.4 million compensation, including a $13.1 million incentive bonus in 2018.

Last week, Muilenburg faced two days of harsh questioning on Capitol Hill from House and Senate committee members, some of whom questioned whether he should resign or give up his pay. "Are you working for free from now on until you can cure this problem", said Rep. Steve Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee, in the second day of hearings.

"It was a significant move on his part", Calhoun said.

"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, especially the families of the crash victims", DeFazio said in a letter to congressional colleagues. "It's had a tremendous impact". Each flight crashed within minutes of taking off.

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Muilenburg and Boeing Commercial Airplanes Chief Engineer John Hamilton's testimony prompted "a litany of new questions for both Boeing and the FAA about the failures that led to the tragic and unnecessary deaths of 346 innocent people". Both crashes have been attributed to an automated system known as MCAS, or Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System.

In the meantime, he explained Muilenburg is entirely concentrated on returning the MAX to services and succeeding in the experience of "1 of the most tricky situations any CEO that I have at any time recognised has lived through".

Calhoun said Muilenburg called him Saturday "with the goal of suggesting that he not take any compensation for 2019 in the form of bonuses, which of course is most of your compensation".

"From the vantage point of our board", he said, "Dennis has done everything right".

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