WASHINGTON: Boeing’s sacked chief executive, Dennis Muilenburg, is leaving the company with $62 million in compensation and pension benefits but will receive no severance pay in the wake of the 737 Max crisis.
Muilenburg was sacked from the job in December as Boeing failed to contain the fallout from a pair of fatal crashes that halted output of the company’s bestselling 737 Max jetliner and tarnished its reputation with airlines and regulators.
The compensation figures were disclosed in a regulatory filing during a difficult week for Boeing when it also released hundreds of internal messages – two major issues hanging over the company before new CEO David Calhoun starts tomorrow. The messages contained harshly critical comments about the development of the 737 Max, including one that said the plane was “designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys.”
The 737 Max has been grounded since March following the second of two crashes that together killed 346 people within a span of five months.
“It is incredibly heart-wrenching to see the man at the heart of our loss walk away with a reward,” said Zipporah Kuria, whose 55-year-old father from Kenya died in the second crash.
“346 people died. And yet, Dennis Muilenburg pressured regulators and put profits ahead of the safety of passengers, pilots, and flight attendants. He’ll walk away with an additional $62.2 million. This is corruption, plain and simple,” US Senator Elizabeth Warren said on Twitter.
US Representative Peter DeFazio, who chairs the House Transportation Committee, said minutes of a June 2013 meeting showed that Boeing sought to avoid expensive training and simulator requirements by misleading regulators about an anti-stall system called MCAS that was later tied to the two crashes.
Speculation that Muilenburg would be sacked had been circulating in the industry for months, intensifying in October when the board stripped him of his chairman’s title – although he had also twice won expressions of confidence from Calhoun, Boeing’s board chairman.