Production of 737 Max has been grounded since March following the second of two crashes that together killed 346 people within a span of five months. Lion Air Flight 610 crashed in Indonesia in October 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed in March last year en route to Kenya.
“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.
Lawmakers also blasted Boeing. US Senator and presidential hopeful, Elizabeth Warren said on Twitter “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”.
Democrat 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 fired 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.
A turnaround veteran and former General Electric executive who has led several companies in crisis, Calhoun will receive a base salary at an annual rate of $US1.4 million and is eligible for $US26.5 million in long-term incentive compensation, Boeing said in a filing.
Boeing said in November Muilenburg had volunteered to give up his 2019 bonus and stock awards. For 2018, his bonus and equity awards amounted to some $US20 million, according to filings.
In addition to the $US62 million in compensation and pension benefits, Muilenburg holds stock options that vested in 2013, Boeing said. They would be worth $US18.5 million at the closing price on Friday.
“Upon his departure, Dennis received the benefits to which he was contractually entitled and he did not receive any severance pay or a 2019 annual bonus,” Boeing said in a statement.
The company issued an apology regarding the internal memos on Thursday and promised to take disciplinary action against individuals involved.
“We regret the content of these communications, and apologise to the FAA, Congress, our airline customers, and to the flying public for them,” Boeing said. “The language used in these communications, and some of the sentiments they express, are inconsistent with Boeing values.”
Reuters, with agencies