Boeing CEO gives up 2019 compensation, bonus in the wake of 737 MAX crashes

The new chairman of The Boeing Company, David Calhoun, gave an enthusiastic vote of public confidence in CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Tuesday, stating that he “has done everything right,” after Boeing Chief Executive has decided not to take an annual bonus for 2019.

Calhoun also announced that the embattled CEO himself suggested forgoing his compensation for this year, including bonuses, after US lawmakers hammered him over compensation during Capitol Hill hearings last week in the wake of two 737 MAX plane crashes.

“It came in two fronts: one, no short-, no long-term bonus, and three, no consideration for equity grants, until the MAX in its entirety is back in the air and flying safely,” Calhoun said. It may take more than a year to return the plane to the skies, he suggested.

Calhoun took office as Boeing’s chairman last month after Muilenburg was stripped of the title. Boeing decided to separate the two roles as the company battled the 737 MAX crisis after two fatal crashes in the span of five months killed 346 people. The tragedies led to the global grounding of Boeing’s top-selling jet.

Last week, the US plane maker was accused of building “flying coffins” as the CEO testified before the Senate Commerce Committee. During the hearing, Representative Stephen Cohen blasted Muilenburg for failing to forgo pay after the crashes.

Muilenburg’s compensation topped $20 million in 2018, despite the first deadly crash of involving a 737 MAX occurring in Indonesia in October 2018. The company did not announce any plans to take away his bonus.