Boeing advisor on MAX tragedies retires

December 27, 2019
Boeing MAX fund
Ethiopian 737 MAX engine. Image: CNBC

The leadership changes at Boeing are continuing with the retirement of board advisor and former General Counsel J. Michael Luttig.

A statement by Boeing said the 65-year-old former US Court of Appeals judge had informed the board he would retire at year’s end.

Luttig was Boeing’s General Counsel from 2006 until taking on the advisory role in May 2019.

He has been managing legal matters associated with the Lion Air flight 610 and Ethiopian Flight 302 accidents that led to the grounding of the global MAX fleet.

The announcement comes days after the company axed chief executive Dennis Muilenburg and is the latest in several leadership changes at Boeing.

READ: Boeing CEO outsed over MAX crisis.

Muilenburg’s immediate departure saw recently appointed chairman David L. Calhoun named as chief executive and president from January 1.

Calhoun, an industry veteran with a track record in handling crises, took over the role of chairman from Muilenburg in October.

The head of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Kevin McAllister, was also replaced later in October by well-regarded Boeing Global services boss Stan Deal.

The latest announcement indicated Luttig had been considering retirement for some time.

“Judge Luttig is one of the finest legal minds in the Nation and he has expertly and tirelessly guided our company as General Counsel, Counselor, and Senior Advisor,” Boeing interim chief executive Greg Smith said in the statement.

“We are deeply indebted to Judge Luttig for his extraordinary service to Boeing over these nearly 14 years, especially through this past, challenging year for our company.

“The Board and I will always be grateful for the Judge’s remarkable service to The Boeing Company – and I will personally always be grateful for his friendship.”

Luttig joined Boeing after serving 15 years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit but had previously served as Assistant Attorney General and Counselor to the US Attorney General and had worked in the Reagan White House.

He said it had been an honor to work for Boeing, its board as well as CEO’s Muilenburg and Jim McNerney.