Boeing's fired CEO could walk away with a $60 million golden parachute

Posted at 12:50 PM, Dec 24, 2019

Boeing's ousted CEO Dennis Muilenburg left behind a long list of problems at Boeing, but he's walking away with a sizable golden parachute.

The exact amount of money that he will leave with isn't yet clear. That will depend on his negotiations with Boeing, including how the company labels his departure — for example, was it a retirement? A resignation? A layoff?

But public filings show Muilenburg could be entitled to a benefit plan worth more than $30 million and, potentially, a severance payment of about $7 million. Muilenburg also has another $20 million-plus worth of vested stock and a pension package totaling more than $11 million.

Muilenburg, 55, became CEO of Boeing, the world's largest aerospace company, in 2015 after serving in several other executive roles, including chief operating officer and CEO of its defense space and security division, throughout his 34-year tenure at the company at Boeing.

His exit from the company comes with Boeing mired in setbacks and scandals, including two fatal crashes and numerous issues with its 737 Max airplane. Boeing has struggled to get the plane, its most important product, back in the air.

The 737 Max, which was the company's bestselling commercial jet, was grounded worldwide in March 2019 after the crashes, in which a combined 346 people were killed. The plane still hasn't returned to flight, despite Boeing's efforts to clear a software fix with regulators.

The company's board determined "a change in leadership was necessary to restore confidence in the company moving forward as it works to repair relationships with regulators, customers, and all other stakeholders," the company said.

The company said earlier this month that it would suspend production of the 737 Max starting in January. Boeing has continued to produce the 737 Max during its grounding, but uncertainty about when the federal regulators will clear the planes for flight has made production untenable. Boeing shifted its timeline for the 737 Max's return to the skies several times throughout the year as it became evident that it could not easily satisfy regulators' concerns about the plane's safety.

Boeing's chief financial officer will act as interim CEO until David Calhoun, currently the board's chairman, takes over as CEO on January 13, 2020.