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Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Boeing announced Monday that CEO Dennis Muilenburg has resigned effective immediately after its board of directors "decided that a change in leadership was necessary to restore confidence."

Why it matters, via Axios' Dan Primack: The aftermath of the aircraft maker's twin 737 MAX crashes, which killed 346 people, laid bare a culture in which safety concerns were discounted — and federal regulators were treated as little more than malleable rubber stamps.

  • Muilenburg managed to survive more than a year after the first 737 MAX crash, which took place in Indonesia in October 2018.
  • He's been unable to get Boeing's 737 MAX fleet back in operation after it was grounded by regulators across the globe, and last week the company announced an indefinite production stoppage that was at one point unthinkable.
  • Boeing's failure related to its Starliner spacecraft, which proved unable to dock with the International Space Station (although it did return safety to Earth yesterday).

The big picture: Muilenburg has led Boeing since 2015, and he had previously been heralded for achieving record profits and tripling the company's stock price.

  • But the company's profits have sagged thanks to the 737 MAX debacle, even turning a loss in Q2. Shareholders have lost more than $65 billion since March.
  • Muilenburg was stripped of his chairman title in October and recently vowed to forgo any 2019 bonuses, but he continues to lead the company and earn millions of dollars in base salary.

The state of play: Boeing shares were up around 1.5% in pre-market trading, and opened more than 3% higher.

What's next: David Calhoun, who took over as chairman from Muilenburg in October, becomes the company's president and CEO.

  • It's unclear if those upset with Muilenburg's leadership will welcome Calhoun's installation, or would prefer a fresh start.
  • He's been on Boeing's board of directors since 2009 and is a former GE exec and ex-CEO of television ratings firm Nielsen, who has spent the past five years with private equity giant The Blackstone Group. A Blackstone spokesperson says he has resigned his position with the firm.
  • Board member Larry Kellner, who previously was CEO of Continental Airlines, will become chairman.

Go deeper: Boeing's Teflon CEO

Go deeper

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

11 hours ago - Economy & Business

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 12 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.