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Boeing shakes up execs, says 'significant progress' made amid 737 MAX crisis

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Boeing shakes up execs, says 'significant progress' made amid 737 MAX crisis

Boeing Co. appointed Stan Deal president and CEO of its commercial airplanes division, replacing Kevin McAllister, who held the post during the certification of the 737 MAX by aviation regulators and the aircraft model's subsequent global grounding in March over safety concerns.

The aircraft maker also named Ted Colbert as president and CEO its global services division, replacing Deal, while Vishwa Uddanwadiker assumed Colbert's role as interim chief information officer and senior vice president of IT and data analytics. All changes are effective immediately.

McAllister's exit is the latest in a series of governance and oversight changes Boeing has implemented in the wake of the 737 MAX grounding. Part of the steps Boeing said it was taking to "sharpen [its] focus on product and services safety" include separating the role of CEO and chairman, as well as forming a product and services safety division.

The management shakeup comes as Boeing grapples with new complications in its bid to get the 737 MAX back in the air. A transcript of messages between Boeing technical pilots during the aircraft's certification process, recently made public by the U.S. Federal Administration Administration, suggested that the company may have misled the aviation regulator about the safety of the anti-stall flight software installed on 737 MAX jets.

The aircraft maker said Oct. 22 that it has made "significant progress" in the last few months toward getting the 737 MAX off the ground again, announcing that it had updated the anti-stall software system that has been widely blamed for two fatal crashes involving the model. Boeing said it had conducted more than 1,500 hours of tests on the updated anti-stall program, including a certification flight test dry-run.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, however, said the federal aviation regulator will need at least "several more weeks" to review Boeing's revisions before conducting tests for pilot workload management and training requirements, according to a Reuters report. Only after these crucial phases will a key certification test flight be done, Dickson added.

Boeing expects the troubled model to start flying again by the end of 2019, although European aviation authorities have already said they could authorize the aircraft's return to service by January 2020 at the earliest.