Updated Nov 6, 2019

Boeing CEO to give part of bonus to 737 MAX victims' compensation funds

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said Wednesday that he plans to contribute a substantial amount of the "tens of millions of dollars" he's forgoing in pay to funds the company has set up for the families of the 346 victims of the two 737 MAX crashes.

Background: Speaking at the New York Times' DealBook conference, Muilenburg said the decision to forgo his bonuses came after he met last week with the families of the people killed in the crashes caused by faulty technology in Boeing's signature plane.

Details: In an interview with CNBC, Boeing's new chair Dave Calhoun said Muilenberg would not be awarded any bonuses or any equity grants for this year "until the [737 Max in its entirety is back in the air and flying safely."

Yes, but: Muilenburg didn't detail how of his pay much he'd donate.

  • A Boeing spokesperson tells Axios in an email that Muilenburg "has committed to donating the entire value of any previous equity grants that vest in 2020." He'll receive the equity, then donate the value.
  • Muilenburg elaborated at DealBook he also plans to donate part of his bonuses to charity, while another part will be allocated to the victims compensation fund. The Boeing spokesperson said how much would go to the charity vs. the compensation fund has not yet been determined.
  • As for which organization and which funds the money will go toward: "it will depend on where the greatest need is at the time of vesting (Feb/Mar 2020)," the spokesperson said.

The big picture: Last week, Muilenburg took heat from lawmakers about his 2018 compensation — which included a $13.1 million bonus, per CNBC — in light of the incidents. In total, the CEO received $23.4 million in compensation last year

  • Muilenburg, who has been pressed to resign, said he had "thought about resigning" in the wake of the 737 MAX crisis, but he didn't see "running away from a challenge" as the "right solution."

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about the Boeing 737 MAX crashes

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Boeing's Teflon CEO

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images & David Ryder/Getty Images

CEOs often depart without much explanation, outside of pablum about wanting to spend more time with their families or pursue new challenges.

  • At Boeing, whose 737 Max planes killed 346 people, the situation is reversed: CEO Dennis Muilenburg still has his job, despite a ruinous year that would have toppled most other CEOs.
  • No one seems to know why.
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Boeing to temporarily suspend production of 737 MAX jet

Boeing factory in Renton, Washington. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

Boeing will temporarily suspend production of its 737 MAX in January as it continues to grapple with the ongoing issues that caused two fatal crashes and prompted the company to ground the jet for nine months, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: The suspension will likely hurt manufacturers and part suppliers who rely on Boeing's business. The company is the largest component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the nation's biggest manufacturing exporter, according to the Times.

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Buckle up: Boeing 737 shutdown indicates turbulence ahead

Workers walk to the Boeing 737 factory on Monday. Photo: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Boeing's decision to indefinitely halt production of its controversial 737 MAX will test the resilience of its sprawling global supply chain, not to mention the U.S. economy, tens of thousands of aerospace workers and airlines that are waiting for planes to be delivered.

The big picture: The 737 MAX has been grounded worldwide since March following two crashes that killed 346 people. Investigators have zeroed in on software that played a role in both crashes, but Boeing has yet to deliver a solution that satisfies the Federal Aviation Administration.

Go deeperArrowDec 17, 2019