< PrevNext > Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing CEO The Supplicant By Chris Davis / December 13, 2019 / Contact Reporter Share Update Dec. 23, 2019: Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has resigned and will be replaced by board chair David Calhoun on Jan. 13._________________________________Asking for a second chance is a complicated endeavor, fraught with regrets and promises. For Boeing, such a request of travelers and travel buyers and their acceptance thereof, though hardly guaranteed, will determine the course of the company and dozens of airlines the world over after a calamitous 2019.Boeing's 737 Max aircraft remains grounded by governmental aviation authorities, nine months after the second fatal crash in which a flight-control system flaw played a part and still months away from the earliest date the planes can return to the sky. In the meantime, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines, among dozens worldwide, have canceled thousands of flights once scheduled to operate on the aircraft.It ultimately will be up to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg to ensure the company can reintroduce an airworthy redesigned Max. That remains a work in process, with projected return dates repeatedly pushed back as testing continues. Analysts and media have shined a harsh light on Boeing's production process, corporate structure, culture and oversight, and several executives involved have retired or otherwise departed. Muilenburg himself was removed by Boeing's board as chairman, though he remains as CEO.Muilenburg's other task might be even more difficult: persuading the flying public that the Max, whenever it is ready and approved for flight by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and other aviation authorities around the world, is safe. To that end, Boeing has launched an advertising campaign with employees discussing the company's safety measures, and Muilenburg himself has addressed industry groups to drum up support."The respect and confidence of the flying public is important to us," Muilenburg in August told Global Business Travel Association executive director Scott Solombrino during an onstage interview at the group's annual convention. "We know that trust has been damaged over the last few months, and we are working hard to re-earn that trust going forward."They'll have to. A June GBTA poll showed about 60 percent of 155 member travel buyer respondents said their employees had expressed concern about flying on the Max for business travel, and about two-thirds expected their travelers would be at least somewhat likely to change travel plans to avoid the aircraft type.It'll be up to Muilenburg to gain that second chance for Boeing from regulators, client airlines, travel buyers and travelers alike. Probably, he'll get only one chance to do so.