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Grounded

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This seems not merely necessary but postmature:

Dennis Muilenburg is stepping down as Boeing CEO effective immediately, according to a statement released Monday by the airplane manufacturer, which has been haunted by fatal crashes of its 737 MAX.

David Calhoun, current chairman of the company’s board of directors, will take over as president and CEO starting Jan. 13.

Muilenburg’s handling of the MAX crisis has come under fire from all sides, although the board voiced support for him as recently as October, when Calhoun replaced him as chairman. Boeing’s statement Monday highlighted the need “to restore confidence in the company” and “to repair relationships with regulators, customers, and all other stakeholders.”

Two weeks ago, the head of Boeing’s primary regulator, Federal Aviation Administration chief Stephen Dickson, delivered an unusually blunt public dressing-down after directing Muilenburg in a Washington, D.C., meeting to stop predicting when the MAX would fly again.

To state the obvious, had two Boeing planes crashed because of defective design in the United States, he wouldn’t have lasted a week.

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